The paper addresses a number of issues regarding the extent to which trafficking may be applied to migrant domestic workers who enter under the kafala system of sponsorship in the Middle East. Migrant domestic workers are the most numerous of those mentioned in reports on trafficking for labour exploitation in the region. The discussion seeks to determine whether " trafficking" can be ex post facto, rather than ex ante? In other words, can the label of trafficking be attributed only after the worker has arrived in the receiving country and is victimized according to the principles of trafficking protocols? In addition, must there be a proven intent to traffic by agents, or can employers who harm and/or exploit them be considered as traffickers alone? Should the harm done to workers on arrival at their place of work be classified (and assisted) as victims of trafficking, or as exploited workers?
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