This summer, the the European Court of Human Rights found that Poland had cooperated in the "preparation and execution of the CIA rendition, secret detention and interrogation operations", of at least two persons. Russian journalists and many other observers were quick to highlight Poland's ( and the USA's) double-standard: are these states for or against human trafficking?
From a political science perspective, this leads to definitional debates. What is human trafficking? What is rendition? Do these concepts overlap? It seems to me that the two terms refer to similar tactics used for very different ends. In one case, the detention -- illegal or not -- is done for economic reasons, while the other -- illegal or not -- is done fore political reasons. For example, the economic implications of the two types of violence are quite different. Thus, to differentiate the two intentions and motivations must be known.
The debate about rights, although important from legal and ethical perspectives, obscures these differences. It also obscures the actor-type: in each case: are the acts conducted by government staff, by private companies for government staff, or by autonomous private actors? Can non-state actors be said to conduct rendition?
The next questions to ask would be: are either practices ever effective? And in light of their methods, ends, and effectiveness, are they ever ethical? Comments welcome.