Educating policymakers and setting the criminal justice policymaking agenda: Interest groups and the 'Victims of Trafficking and Violence Act of 2000'

  • Stolz B
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During the 1990s, the human trafficking problem emerged as an issue on the international and US policy agendas. Using an expanded case study approach to study the agenda-setting stage, this article examines the role of interest groups in educating US policymakers about the trafficking problem, culminating in the enactment of the trafficking provisions of the ‘Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000’. Specifically, this article focuses on the participation of ‘nonprofessional criminal justice’ interest groups—purely service groups or groups whose interest in criminal justice policy is of an ad hoc nature—such as human rights, women’s, refugee, and religious organizations. Since the human trafficking agenda-setting stage in the USA was linked to international anti-trafficking efforts, the observations in this article extend beyond US policymaking. They point to the need to study interest group participation, particularly non-professional criminal justice groups, in setting the international criminal justice policy agenda and determining cross-national criminal justice responses to global crime problems.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Criminal justice policymaking
  • Human trafficking
  • Interest groups
  • Policymaking
  • Trafficking in persons
  • US Congress

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  • Barbara Stolz

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