Research

Human Trafficking Indicators, 2000-2011: A New Dataset

Abstract: This manuscript presents the Human Trafficking Indicators (HTI), a new dataset on human trafficking patterns and government anti-trafficking efforts in 179 countries from 2000 to 2011. This is the first dataset to broadly capture different trafficking types and disaggregated measures of government responses. These data enable the cross-national study of seven types of trafficking including forced prostitution, labor, domestic servitude, and debt bondage. The HTI also includes measures of governments’ law enforcement efforts, protective services, and prevention efforts. This paper presents an overview of the dataset, some initial trends, and implications for trafficking research

Understanding Human Trafficking

This book manuscript is at the heart of the HTI project. Details can be found on the book’s webpage.

National Law Enforcement in a Globalized World: The Case of Human Trafficking

Abstract: Human trafficking has become a critical global issue since the 1990s. At the intersection of human rights, human security, and transnational criminal control, human trafficking is increasingly at the forefront of United States foreign policy. One of the central policy responses to the problem of human trafficking – central both to international law, regional European law, and domestic US law – has been to criminalize it and work to prosecute traffickers. Yet little to nothing is known about the consequences of a prosecutorial approach. We suggest there are at least three theoretical possibilities: (1) criminalization may have no effect on trafficking; (2) criminalization may reduce human trafficking, and/or (3) criminalization may divert human trafficking from one jurisdiction to another, as traffickers seek the path of least resistance toward profiting from the exploitation of potential workers. To test these ideas, we have developed a unique time series dataset that documents trafficking “corridors:” dyads of states between which human trafficking has credibly been observed and reported in the annual United States Trafficking in Persons Reports. We find evidence of a reduction of trafficking within corridors where enforcement has been strengthened, but also diversion of trafficking towards contiguous neighbors of the enforcers. This is important because it suggests the enforcement of criminal law can have transnational negative externalities unless it is approached in a coordinated fashion.

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