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Potrafke, Niklas (2016): Policies against human trafficking: the role of religion and political institutions. In: Economics of Governance, Vol. 17, No. 4: pp. 353-386
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I investigate empirically the role of religion and political institutions in policies against human trafficking, using the new 3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index. The dataset contains 175 countries. The results show that governments in countries with Christian majorities implement stricter anti-trafficking policies than governments in countries with Muslim majorities. The differences between countries with Christian and Muslim majorities are pronounced in dictatorships but less so in democracies. For example, the 3P Anti-Trafficking Policy Index in a dictatorship with no Muslims was by 1.9 points higher than in an otherwise identical but purely Muslim dictatorship (on a scale from 3 to 15). The association between religion and the overall 3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index is driven by protection and prevention policies. As compared to prosecution policies that mainly target the perpetrators of human trafficking, protection and prevention policies mainly protect the victims of human trafficking, i.e. predominantly women. The conclusions are consistent with other empirical findings regarding the association between religion, political institutions, and human development.