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

See all articles by Ronald Weitzer

Ronald Weitzer

George Washington University - Department of Sociology

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Weitzer, Ronald, New Directions in Research on Human Trafficking (May 2014). The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v. 653 (May 2014), pages 6-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2496057

Ronald Weitzer (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Sociology ( email )

United States

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