Surveillance and Entanglement: How mandatory sex offender registration impacts criminalised survivors of human trafficking


  • Kate Mogulescu
  • Leigh Goodmark



This short article describes how some victims of human trafficking in the sex industry in the United States are prosecuted alongside traffickers and put on sex offender registries. The result is both a criminal record and an indefinite digital mark that limits their ability to find a job, settle in a new community, and see their children. The article concludes with a call for a careful, critical look at the system of sex offender registries and, more broadly, policing and prosecution strategies, including in cases of human trafficking, in the United States.


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Author Biographies

Kate Mogulescu

Kate Mogulescu is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she directs the Criminal Defense & Advocacy Clinic. Her work and scholarship concentrate on gender issues in the criminal legal system, with a focus on sex work and human trafficking. Kate has founded several projects that attempt to address the criminalisation of vulnerable and exploited people, including the Exploitation Intervention Project (2011), the Survivor Reentry Project (2016) and the Human Trafficking Clemency Initiative (2017). Professor Mogulescu received her J.D. from Yale Law School and B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Leigh Goodmark

Leigh Goodmark is the Marjorie Cook Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she directs the Gender Violence Clinic. Professor Goodmark’s scholarship focuses on intimate partner violence. She is the author of Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A balanced policy approach to intimate partner violence (UC Press, 2018) and A Troubled Marriage: Domestic violence and the legal system (New York University Press, 2012) and the co-editor of Comparative Perspectives on Gender Violence: Lessons from efforts worldwide (Oxford University Press, 2015). Professor Goodmark is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School.




How to Cite

Mogulescu, K., & Goodmark, L. (2020). Surveillance and Entanglement: How mandatory sex offender registration impacts criminalised survivors of human trafficking. Anti-Trafficking Review, (14), 125–130.