Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2018

Katarina Schwarz

Katarina Schwarz is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Law and Research Fellow in the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham. She is grateful to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for funding her research under the Antislavery Usable Past project.

Jing Geng

Jing Geng is a Ph.D. candidate at Católica Global School of Law in Lisbon, Portugal. She is grateful for the funding of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in Portugal for supporting her work. She is also grateful to the University of Michigan Law School and INTERVICT at Tilburg Law School for their institutional support during the research and drafting of this article.



One of the biggest failings of contemporary regimes governing human exploitation is their treatment of ‘victims’. This paper roots narratives of victimhood and agency in the legal frameworks through analysis of the right to effective remedy in human rights and international law. Dominant characterisations of ‘victimisation’ are problematised and an alternative formulation – the ‘victim-agent’ – proposed in order to recognise agency and its abrogation, advocate for participation consistent with the demands of procedural justice, and contribute to meaningful redress.