DemandAT - Demand-side Measures Against Trafficking - is a research project that examines approaches addressing and reducing demand for trafficking in human beings through anti-trafficking efforts and policies. The project is interdisciplinary and funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration. It includes nine partners from different European countries and is coordinated by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development in Vienna. The project runs from January 2014 to the spring of 2017. The total cost is €3.2 million, of which €2.5 million have been funded by the EU. Lund University has received €290,490 through the project.

As a whole the project examines the role demand plays in relation to human trafficking and measures directed at the demand side to reduce trafficking in various areas, such as global commodity production, household services and begging. The project explores what demand means in the context of trafficking research and takes a broad approach to trafficking, analysing a range of forced and exploitative labour scenarios and importing insights from other fields.

The aim is to provide a theoretical and empirical background that could inform policy decisions at European and national level, to eliminate, or at least reduce, the suffering from the worst forms of exploitation. The research conducted within the frames of the project will culminate in policy recommendations.

The Swedish study focuses on human trafficking for sexual purposes. We will, for instance, compare prostitution policies in Sweden, Germany and New Zealand. Our purpose is to understand how the policy of each country addresses the issue and how this takes shape in practice. We will look at legal frameworks but since this only provides a limited picture of the impact policies have, the study will also draw from interviews with key stakeholders as a way to gain insight into the practical effects of policy. Another part of the Swedish study consists of interviews with buyers of sexual services.

DemandAT has its own website where more background information can be found, as well as ongoing updates on the research.

An important part of the project is to make the knowledge generated through the project available to key players. Upon completion a seminar will be organised and the results will be made available to the public. 

Here is an article in LUM Magazine about the project.