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Human Trafficking - Science topic

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Dear distinguished colleague,
Recently we have started comparative global research that we have started recently on 'Students' perception on the Russia-Ukraine war 2022' (link to the website: http://www.covidsoclab.org/russia-ukraine-war-2022/), covering various economic and social effects of this war. The global comparative analysis helps us formulate the most useful recommendations for policymakers.
If you are interested in participating (as a contact person and a potential co-author of a joint paper, do let me know to give you further guidelines – see also research guidelines on the webpage: http://www.covidsoclab.org/russia-ukraine-war-2022/research-guidelines/). Your main task at this stage would be to motivate students from your institution (or wider in the country) to complete the online questionnaire by 30 April 2022 at the latest (here is only a preview link: https://1ka.arnes.si/a/60ee60a0&preview=on). When we have the results, we will analyse and compare them (between countries included in our study - then is a plan to prepare academic article(s) relating to different (e.g., economic and social aspects) of the Russia-Ukraine war 2022 together with the analysed results of our questionnaire survey). You will also receive data from your country/institution in order to deploy it in further research. The detailed dissemination plan will be finalised later according to the interests of international partners.
If your time is limited and do not allow you to fully join at this moment, we would kindly ask you if you could motivate and share a link with your students to fill out the questionnaire (please, do see a message and a link for students below) and we will be happy to provide you with the data/result/report for your institution.
Please, do not hesitate to contact me in case of any further queries.
Prof. dr. Aleksander Aristovnik
CovidSocLab
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Interested to participate in the survey on perception on the Russia-Ukraine war 2022.
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I am looking for a research done in Kenya on supply chain and human trafficking.
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Interesting issue … perhaps look into case studies like the coffee supply chain, etc
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I am writing a dissertation on the topic of sex trafficking. Having read Siddharth Kara's book i wanted to explore the topic more however, it has proven to be difficult to narrow down the specifics of such a huge topic. I am particularly interested in police corruption which facilitates exploitation, vague laws on prevention of sex trafficking, psychological trauma of survivors and traffickers understanding of their role in this illegal market. Any help with sources, research methods or discourses would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know your thoughts
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Dominika Sokolowska you are probably moving along on your research, and more research on this topic is very much needed. From the US perspective this will give you more ideas-- https://humanrightsclinic.usc.edu/2021/11/15/over-policing-sex-trafficking-how-u-s-law-enforcement-should-reform-operations/
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Hi everyone, I am currently in the process of writing a research proposal. I was planning on researching illicit economies influence and affect on development, especially with emphasis on developing countries. As we all know, it is extremely difficult to obtain a substantial amount of data on anything to do with drug trafficking/human trafficking/etc., but I thought asking here would lead me in the right direction. Any sources, further research ideas, pretty much anything would help me out. I hope to be able to complete a regression of some sorts to explore and strengthen some of my research more. Thank you!
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Venezuela is a big data source for your research, Dear Marguerite Healy.
Probably you won't find any other country in the world where illicit economy policies such as drugs and human trafficking, and billionaire corruption are promoted by the rule of law of CastroChavistas.
Best Regards.
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As an example, the human trafficking phenomenon has been dismissed by a handful of researchers/critics in South Africa who claims that there is "little evidence to substantiate" that the issue is a widespread 'problem'. Rigorous, quantitative data is scarce as the South African government has been very slow to respond to the call for national-level, standardized and statistical data. Moreover, huge gaps in identifying cases by frontline law enforcement officials continue, whilst some cases are not reported (corruption) and others are subsumed under other crimes. In addition to the crime being a hidden crime, and victims not self-identifying, the aforementioned reasons are but some which underpin the lack of 'data' or 'evidence' (using the terms employed by skeptics).
On the flip side, a number of national studies (at least 7) have been done over the past 20+ years, all of which used a well-explicated methodology, and interviews with practitioners and experts (including perpetrators and victims of the crime) from which clear/vivid insights can be drawn. It does not provide a statistical/quantifiable scope of the problem, but surely suggest that the problem is systemic and inextricably linked to South Africa's multiple systems of violence, corruption, impunity, and structural inequalities. An increasing number of cases are currently being prosecuted in our courts, and more than 2000 cases have been reported to the police in a matter of 2 years (between 2015 and 2017). At least four unpublished doctoral studies in recent years provide similar insights and 'evidence' that are consistent and coherent with previous 'findings' that South Africa indeed does have a trafficking 'problem'.
So, what is 'evidence'? Some politicians frequently make reference to 'anecdotal evidence' when subtly dismissing the reality of the crime. Surely, when a clearly explicated methodology is followed and data is systematically collected which include first-hand lived experiences of practitioners and survivors of the crime, there exists empirical 'evidence'? Even more so when multiple studies confirm these findings? Practitioners whom I've interviewed (police, prosecutors, magistrates, social workers, survivors, and convicted traffickers) find the 'little evidence to substantiate' claims by a handful of researchers quite bizarre...
Any insights will be much appreciated!
Marcel
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Dear Marcel,
Sorry, am responding rather late. Colleagues who offered some thoughts on the question you posed have touched on the issues I think are pertinent to the debate. I agree and stress that qualitative and quantitative methodologies are more complementary rather than contradictory. This is also true when one considers the meaning of evidence as a socio-legal term. Evidence literally means any matter of fact that is presented to prove or disprove a case.
Social sciences researchers use 3 or more types of evidence to prove or disprove the existence of a social problem. The first type of social science evidence is anecdotal evidence. This is basically the citation of one or two related or unrelated cases, reported in the media.
To strengthen anecdotal evidence we need a reasonable number of experiential or lived experience. In the human trafficking research, this will mean, for example, the number of victims identified and interviewed. The number of victims needed to establish strong evidence is not known. This is where guidance is needed from government agencies and where the Second type of social science evidence - statistical evidence comes in. The number of arrests, prosecution and convictions on human trafficking is increasing yet some still do not consider the crime a threat to the South African society.
The third type of social science evidence is testimonial or the writing of experts on the subject of concern. In research terms, this is the citation of articles in accredited/peer reviewed journals.
Human trafficking research fulfills the 3 types of evidence briefly discussed.
While evidence presented by human trafficking researchers to prove the prevalence of human trafficking crime in South Africa are often criticized or dismissed as anecdotal, critiques have not been able to provide counter evidence to disprove it.
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I am looking for prosecutors who worked on human trafficking cases at any point during their careers as participants for a research study. This study will examine the challenges and limitations to prosecute human traffickers under state-level legislations, the differential evaluation of the state and federal level legislations (TVPA of 2000), and any future recommendations for these legislations as to what can be done differently to make them more efficient. I am conducting phone interviews with the participants to gain their insight on the issue and just to be clear the information provided will be completely confidential (consent forms are involved). If you know someone who could participate in this study, please let me know. I'd be grateful.
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Good and relevant topic of study.
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Is there any research pertaining to human trafficking where the question is being asked about traffickers and their issues and why they get involved in trafficking instead of victims. I am not in favor of prolonged incarceration, so I am looking for psychological/biosocial interventions that could help. Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
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Michael J. Lynch thank you so much for sharing the article. I appreciate you taking time to answer this question.
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For this research paper I will be using the Broad Model (interdisciplinary). My disciplines that will be used are organizational leadership and finance.
-it identifies the focus of the study in an easy to understand
-it identifies the scope or boundaries of the study and characterizes the study as an interdisciplinary one
-it answers the "so what?" question
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As it was mentioned earlier, newspaper, journal, magazine and etc could be a good source of articulating a sensible and doable research question.
Another source that you can look at is YouTube and TV- Documentary pogrammes. You maybe want to get in touch with those reporters/researchers that have gone to the field and have some idea about the real challenges. Thanks
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I m thinking to write a paper on the perceptions of citizens in developing on types on human trafficking (with special focus on forced labor and forced marriage)?
How do young adults view it? Is it a stigma, what makes it turn into stigma?
What do you think? Looking forward to hear opinions...
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Nice topic. But it will be wise not make any predetermined opinion like its stigma. It will be better to start from the neutral point of view because adult trafficking and child trafficking is different. Adults more know whats going on. So, even if they say its not their own wish sometimes they intended to go but things gone wrong in the way. So, it will be better if the hidden psychological issues came out through this research.
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We all know that illegal practices are fought by state or mainstream authority. However, many illegal organizations enjoy vigor and influence that rival those of the recognized/legal/mainstream authority though they work in the dark and are denied public support, resources and recognition. These illegal entities or practices sometimes show an impact that threatens the stability of society, that society which is supported by the recognized authority with its laws, regulations, and resources.
Of course what is legal or legitimate is relative. But how comes that such bodies/entities/practices flourish in spite of the regulations put by mainstream authorities?
My question is cannot the methods and techniques used by the "dark" forces be implemented by the second in order to establish human rights that guarantee equality and nation-welfare? Examples abound: gun market, drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, research black market...etc.
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Hi Muthana,
I recommend you have a look at Baumol, W. J. (1990). Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive. Journal of Political Economy,
98 (5), 893 - 921. This is pretty much regarded as a key text in respect of illegal entrepreneurship.
I've written a bit on this too, generally in relation to organised crime. You will find my work on my home page if it is of interest.
I think a really interesting 'case study' to look at that relates to your question is 20th century alcohol prohibition in the United States. A good article on this is at:
Hope this is helpful.
Kind Regards,
Martin
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Hi,
We all are aware of the present social issues like terrorism, drug addiction, child labor, prostitution, human trafficking etc . The ruling team takes various actions and people also agree unanimously against them but still the same are not under control.
I have tried to discuss the above issue for the fundamental reasons behind the subject issues and it has impressed me that.... "it is mission impossible". However, if you have your own independent thoughts in the direction of any remedy, I invite to expose the same here.
Regards.
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Hi Harshaf,
Thanks for raising important points. I think each of these issues requires to be tackled independently and cannot be clubbed together into a Socil Issues bucket.
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Hi everyone. I'm having trouble finding statistical data on human trafficking worldwide, e.g. no. of victims, no. of convictions, by year, by country, gender, age, etc. Can anyone recommend a link of any reliable source, like an international organization on anti-trafficking? I need to make a quantitative analysis on R studio. Thank you in advance.
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Thank you, sir. I will check out the sites you mentioned.
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We think we have identified an interesting phenomenon of some of the Mississippi schools in the more economically depressed areas that are aggressively recruiting teachers from outside and within this phenomenon we're finding that the teachers being treated appeared to have been misled as to employment status, salary and dynamics of contract. These teachers appeared to been aggressively recruited, many out of India, by recruiters were also Indian the chart significant fees to coordinate the obtaining of instructional position serving as an employment broker. Has anyone else identified this trend in human trafficking?
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Thank you so much for your responses.
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Actually I want to estimate the prevalence of women trafficking, children trafficking. There is no reporting system. Because of typical culture, societal value, religious prospects, the clandestine nature of this, this activity does not come into reporting. What methodology would be adopted under such scenario? As I thought of applying capture-recapture sampling approach.However, for applying this approach, it is very difficult to trace the persons affected by trafficking even at initial stage.
If anyone suggest me, it would be great please!
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I contacted Licia Brussa, PhD of TAMPEP in Amsterdam, Holland and the International Organization of Migrations in Geneva, Switzerland to understand how to account for the element of unreported cases of sex trafficking and illegal human trafficking in authoring my NIH project application for Europe. They are on the cutting edge of new strategies and solid methodology in controlling for these statistics.
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What are the biggest challenges, obstacles, barriers that researchers have faced when attempting to study human trafficking.  The issues of the hidden nature of human trafficking and unreliable data have been covered in the literature, but are there others?  Studying NGOs, studying survivors' experiences, studying perpetrators' experiences, studying donors, studying law enforcement?
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.As so many of you have stated, it is difficult to gain accurate data on the topic. I have pull statistics from a wide range of sources dealing with different aspects of the topic, but in many cases, the numbers reported are fairly broad-based estimates. I have found about the best I can do is establish trends
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In the past there have been several areas that have closed strip clubs or passed laws making stripping illegal. I started to search to see what effect this may have on the illegal trafficking in those areas. I have not come up with any results. This is interesting because many times the excuse used to restrict stripping or to close strip clubs was to stop human trafficking or to slow the process in those areas. Does anyone know if this method of closing strip clubs or illegalizing some form of stripping has any effect on the sex trafficking in those areas? If so where can I find these results?
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I am now doing some research into human trafficking, specifically in the beauty industry and its link to both labor and sexual exploitation. I feel it is a multidimensional problem is a challenge to the community. What I have seen is strip clubs are often just one element in the equation. Typically for the true impact to occur on the dynamics of sex trafficking in an area requires a multidimensional community involvement, to include a true commitment by local government, area business leaders, residents and a well-planned enforcement initiative. While it is naïve to assume that these efforts will only remove the challenge from the community. The average can disrupt the activities of the targeted area
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My area of research is human trafficking.
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Great question, as pointed out by the earlier respondents there is a difference and much has to do with the initial intent and ultimate freedom of those trafficked.
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unclear why we don't call spade a spade. Human trafficking is a form of slavery
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That is a very good question. From my perspective not all trafficked fall into a "slave-type" or indentured situation, thus, the term slavery does not apply in all cases.
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I would like to conduct mixed methods research. I am going to use an interpreter support, if necessary, for a qualitative part. However, it would be useful to have already existing (and appropriately) translated tools for a quantitative part. Bearing in mind copyrights, permissions etc. This is a research project for masters degree and I realised that I will not be able to arrange translation of questionnaires in time.
My research:
Population - diverse ethnic backgrounds. I am looking for questionnaires listed below to be forward-translated and back-translated in different languages: Romanian, Russian, Czech, Polish, Albanian and other if possible.
- Self-stigma of seeking help questionnaire (Vogel et al., 2006)
- Need Satisfaction Inventory (Lester, 1990)
Did anyone have a similar issue? Would you have any suggestion how to overcome the mentioned problem?
Many thanks in advance
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I think you cannot find publicly available multilingual versions of international survey - only the generic one (English). There are many secondary data analyses on trafficking, as well as national reports - for example Eurofound deals with labout exploitation and trafficking.
Here you could find summary of methodological challenges in research on trafficking. http://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/global_survey.pdf
In case your research is for Master degree, I would recommend to be focused on qualitative research, combined with secondary data analyses. Good luck!
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I have discarded framework and models used in development field, such as IRR, SL, IDAM... I am looking for something more focused on the risks. I'have read that Humane Security could provide an interestin approach but I can't find an analytical framework. Any suggestions are welcome!
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Thank you so much! I will definitely look at your recommandations!
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Trying to find up to date articles on the concept
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Human Trafficking is the trading of people for an economic benefit. It involves violence against these people, forced taking them to other places within or outside their countries. It is done to supply people for local or international prostitution, forced labour, sexual slavery, or providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage. People, often women who are exposed to this form of violence and human rights abuse are often vulnerable because of economic reasons (poverty), ethnic background and/or gender. Human trafficking is a multi-billion business world-wide and should not be confused with human smuggling, which usually would involve consent of those who are smuggled over international borders, which makes smuggling a violation of laws of countries, but not necessarily violation of people’s human rights, which however can also happen in the process, as smuggled people are also vulnerable through the situation they are in and the dependency on others, who then can exploit the situation. This can lead that human trafficking and human smuggling can overlap..
Human security is in contrast to national security the situation when humans are free from fear and free from wants. A crucial aspect of human security is the absense of many different forms a structures and processes that make people vulnerable.
To bring both concepts together means that whenever human security is low people face all sorts of vulnerabilities, which includes the exposure to violence such as human trafficking.
Some recent literature that brings both concepts together
Chanda, S. (2017, March). Human Security and the Trafficking of Women: India and her Neighbours’. In National Conference on Contradiction, Conflict and Continuity: Their Significance in Contemporary Society (Vol. 1, p. 106). Allied Publishers.
Bowersox, Z. (2017). Natural Disasters and Human Trafficking: Do Disasters Affect State Anti‐Trafficking Performance?. International Migration.
Molinari, N. (2017). Intensifying Insecurities: The impact of climate change on vulnerability to human trafficking in the Indian Sundarbans. Anti-Trafficking Review, (8).
Emser, M., & Francis, S. (2017). Counter-trafficking governance in South Africa: an analysis of the role of the KwaZulu-Natal human trafficking, prostitution, pornography and brothels task team. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 35(2), 190-211.
Uddin, M. B. (2017). Revisiting Gender-Sensitive Human Security Issues and Human Traffickingin South Asia: The Cases of India and Bangladesh. In Crime, Criminal Justice, and the Evolving Science of Criminology in South Asia (pp. 219-245). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Batra, M. (2017). Relationship between disaster and human trafficking. Disaster Law: Emerging Thresholds, 4.
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I am in the process of preparing for interviews with sentenced human trafficking offenders. Even though I am following a very unstructured interview approach, I would like to request scholars/practitioners to forward me any interview tools that they have used on this population. I would like to review the themes that have been covered with these offenders. Thank you so much!
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 Maybe it will be better not to review in this stage of your research any themes.
This way you will be exclusively focused on the themes spontaneously occur in interviews. You will also avoid imposing themes that could be not important, marginal for your subjects and missing some important cultural, geographical etc. particularities.
You can guide your interviews by emergent themes (analyzing your first unstructured interviews).
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Can anyone refer me to research exploring the nexus between missing persons reports/cases and human trafficking? Alternatively pointing me to researchers who are engaging with, or are interested in this question? Thanks so much!
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It is hard to find reliable (accurate) research on this topic, this is because most sex traffickers target troubled females with prior drug abuse, therefore, when they go missing most of their acquaintances don't suspect foul play and just assume (due to their flakey; unreliable nature) they jumped states, shacked up with some new boyfriend, or got involved in some other living situation, etc. and don't report their disappearance. Last seminar I attended it was said that the sex traffickers were waiting outside methadone clinics to lure females. I know as this area of crime evolves it gets harder to locate reliable data. 
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Can anyone refer me to research exploring the application of complexity theory to the criminal justice system? Or the application of complexity theory to a complex social phenomenon i.e. human trafficking?
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I would like to explore the relationship between political economy and human trafficking, especially how the former causes the latter both theoretically and empirically. Which theoretical school of IPE can best describe the problem ?  
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Don't forget the role of offshore finance, which allows for transactions in the IPE to be hidden from view, as revealed by the Panama Papers.
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Published in Quarter four of 2015
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I was going to suggest asking Gary Craig but I assume you will have done that...
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I am interested in the rate of infections for prostitutes, sex workers and/or the victims of human trafficking.
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You'd really need to stratify and segment the market to get these figures in any meanjngful way, and other factors intervene. The more organised higher class levels are pretty fastidious about testing etc and even lower down safe sex is the norm. The ones who practice unsafe are usually ostracized and guys who require it blacklisted, but there are much lower levels eh trafficked women where the women are just abused and when they are no longer marketable may be deliberately infected. However, where infection does occur at lower levels it is usually a result of drug use, which of course is a major reason why women are on the streets. CDC has figures.
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I am working on a thesis, and need more data on human smuggling and human trafficking (NOT the same thing) both inside of Europe (intra-EU) as well as from outside Europe into Europe (inter-state to EU).
Cheers, 
Don
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Thanks Matilde - yes, even the FRONTEX data is complicated to read, and I suspect it is still missing more than it is capturing.  It is a "hidden" crime that is very hard to detect and track, much less attack.  
I know when I lived in London the Brits were working very hard on this - they have the advantage in that they are sort of the "end of the line" for smuggling and exploitation in Europe.  There are also ethnic enclaves that are very hard to penetrate - for example in Manchester - that adds to the general sense of "what don't we know"?
Cheers
Don
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Small islands seem to have similar crime risks: money laundering, corruption, tourists, close knit populations, nepotism, lagging behind in crime analysis capabilities.
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Yes - I am currently considering these issues in the Pacific for my PhD.
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Dear fellow researchers,
Is there any research on the measurement of indicators of trafficking of adults for labor exploitation, as specified by the International Labour Organization (ILO, see link for further info), particularly when it comes to the systematic assessment of these indicators in migrant populations?
Thank you in advance for any help and input,
Anja
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California's 2012 Report on human trafficking recommends mandated reporting by healthcare professionals. Is anyone working on this?
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Health care providers are already subject to some mandatory reporting -- e.g., for child abuse. Some states have broadened that, but even in states that have not, for the provider there may be little difference. That is, a provider is unlikely to see physical injuries and think "if wasn't done by a parent, therefore I can ignore it." So practically speaking, a lack of mandate may not be the biggest obstacle. Lack of training and other issues are likely more significant. I have a co-authored piece on health care professionals' role in responding to child sex trafficking and am working on a book on the topic, so I'm happy to chat further.
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Bonded Child Labour prevails in different societies, any researcher who has publication on bonded child labour or modern slavery in present ages...Could you please share links for reading purpose.
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Hi Toula,
Good day.Thank you for your suggested references and links.
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This makes it necessary to understand what actors, factors and characteristics are involved in this inhuman business.
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South Asia has several key characteristics that cause human trafficking to thrive in a region: large impoverished population, major cultural/linguistic/economic barriers for marginalized groups, porous borders, significant amounts of low skilled labor migration, among others.  Other examples would be Southeast Asia, Subsaharan Africa, Central America.  The vast wealth differential between the affluent and the poor in these areas, combined with social/educational/cultural/linguistic barriers due to discrimination toward marginalized groups, forces people to make risky choices for work.  Lack of opportunity for the least advantaged of a society makes them vulnerable to exploitation in the informal sector.  Just based on the sheer magnitude of the population living in poverty, India has circumstances that encourage trafficking.  Large numbers of unskilled, uneducated migrants means that unscrupulous people are likely to take advantage of that populous.  
The chance at a better life in the big city is motivation enough to engage in risky migration, and these migrants are often exploited by traffickers.  The circumstances create the traffickers and the traffickees.  Traffickers don't manifest in a vacuum, they are opportunistic people, often desperate to earn money, and likely to have been exploited in the past.  
Thailand is a destination, transit, source  country for trafficking, not because Thai people are any more or less scrupulous than anyone else.  Thailand just has a set of historical realities, combined with neighbors filled with large number of marginalized people, and a comparative economic advantage in the region.  These marginalized, disadvantaged migrants (from Laos PDR, Burma, Cambodia, elsewhere) see the opportunities in places like Bangkok, and are willing to take the risks of informal migration for the chance at a better life.  They see the good life on TV, billboards, the internet, and make risky choices in hopes of having that life, as well.  All it takes is to go from the extravagant shopping malls in Siam Square in Bangkok, and travel a few blocks to the slums, and you see how in your face wealth disparity is.  If I were living in a slum within walking distance to a Lambroghini dealership, I might take risks, and even engage in less than scrupulous behavior to access that.