New Directions in Research on Human Trafficking
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v. 653 (May 2014), pages 6-24
20 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2014
Date Written: May 2014
This article evaluates four popular claims regarding human trafficking’s international magnitude, trends, and seriousness relative to other illicit global activities. I find that the claims are neither evidence-based nor verifiable. Second, an argument is made for carefully conducted microlevel research on trafficking. Several such studies are described, including the contributions to this volume of The Annals. I argue for microlevel research, which has advantages over grand, macrolevel claims — advantages that are both quantitative (i.e., identifying the magnitude of trafficking within a measurable context) and qualitative (i.e., documenting complexities in lived experiences) — and is better suited to formulating contextually appropriate policy and enforcement responses.
Keywords: sex trafficking, labor trafficking, microlevel research, evidence-based policy
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