Vladislava Stoyanova, L.E. v. Greece: Human Trafficking and the Scope of States‘ Positive Obligations under the ECHR, 3 European Human Rights Law Review (2016), 290-230 [Full article at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2773670 and attached here: article on le v greece]
L.E. v. Greece: Human Trafficking and the Scope of States’ Positive Obligations under the ECHR
Dr. Vladislava Stoyanova
In L.E. v. Greece, the European Court of Human Rights found that Greece failed to fulfill its positive obligations under art.4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The judgment can be assessed as a step forward for alleviating the scarcity of judicial engagement with art.4 of the ECHR (the right not to be subjected to slavery, servitude, forced labour and human trafficking). While overall a positive development, in this note I will argue that in some respects the judgment is under inclusive, while in others it is over inclusive. I will demonstrate that the Court faces some challenging questions when it addresses positive obligations under art.4 and these questions have to be more seriously considered. I will also offer an alternative reasoning which is more useful for responding to the structural deficiencies in the protection offered to migrants subjected to severe forms of exploitation in Europe.