This article offers a historical account and critical assessment of the prostitution-reform debates’ considerable influence on anti-trafficking law and policy development over the last decade. The article exposes the difficulties of translating anti-prostitution ideology, borne out of closely held moral and ethical beliefs, into effective governance strategies. As such there is an urgent need to adopt and empahsise policies guided by a pragmatic, evidence-based approach that understands or seeks to understand the real-world complexities of human trafficking. To achieve this, narrow ideological commitments ought to be set aside and the actual impact of anti-trafficking interventions on both the populations they purport to help and the vulnerable populations they collaterally affect should be objectively evaluated.
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