Francesca Tammone

Human Trafficking and Forced Prostitution as Contemporary Forms of Slavery: The ECtHR Grand Chamber’s Decision in S.M. Case

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On 25 June 2020, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgement in S.M. v. Croatia case regarding the violation of Article 4 of the European Convention on human rights. The case, concerning a young woman who was physically and psychologically forced into prostitution, involved a number of issues about the material scope of Art. 4 ECHR, the definition of human trafficking and the inclusion of ‘exploitation of prostitution’ in the ECHR. This article analyses the judgement and endorses the opportunity of a ‘teleological interpretation’ vis-à-vis contemporary forms of slavery.


  • human trafficking
  • forced prostitution
  • positive obligations
  • procedural limb
  • Art. 4 ECHR
  • modern slavery


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