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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  The perceptions posited by Phongpaichit, Williams, and Vandenberg further typify the problems inherent to the accuracy of data collection and empirical evidence regarding human trafficking. Human trafficking is a lucrative market that is very difficult to infiltrate, which makes data collection all the more difficult. As Williams (1999) identifies, “corruption is the lubricant which allows criminal organizations to operate with maximum effectiveness and minimum interference” (p. 4). Corrupt governments that are participating in the facilitation of human trafficking are highly unlikely to report accurate statistics (Human Rights Watch, 2002; Matilac & Florendo, 2002; Stone, 1999; Williams, 1999; Vandenberg, 2007). The muddling of legitimate versus illegitimate migration patterns further facilitates the problems with gathering data on human trafficking (Bruckert & Parent, 2004; Lackzo & Gramegna, 2003; Salt & Stein, 1997). Laczko & Gramegna’s (2003) critique that, “reliable trafficking data can be compiled only when the appropriate capacity to produce it exists” (p. 186) and their calls for innovative approaches to gathering of data have since been answered. Beginning in 2002, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime created the Global Programme Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GPAT), and establish a single database on flows of human trafficking (UNODC, 2006). The publication in 2006 from the UNODC, based on the single database, is perceived to have provided stronger insights into human trafficking and assisted in alleviating some of the concern regarding the reliability and validity of estimates of trafficking. However, it is important that research regarding human trafficking 10

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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The perceptions posited by Phongpaichit, Williams, and Vandenberg further 
typify the problems inherent to the accuracy of data collection and empirical 
evidence regarding human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a lucrative market that is very difficult to infiltrate, 
which makes data collection all the more difficult.  As Williams (1999) identifies, 
“corruption is the lubricant which allows criminal organizations to operate with 
maximum effectiveness and minimum interference” (p. 4).  Corrupt governments 
that are participating in the facilitation of human trafficking are highly unlikely to 
report accurate statistics (Human Rights Watch, 2002; Matilac & Florendo, 2002; 
Stone, 1999; Williams, 1999; Vandenberg, 2007).  The muddling of legitimate 
versus illegitimate migration patterns further facilitates the problems with 
gathering data on human trafficking (Bruckert & Parent, 2004; Lackzo & 
Gramegna, 2003; Salt & Stein, 1997).
Laczko & Gramegna’s (2003) critique that, “reliable trafficking data can be 
compiled only when the appropriate capacity to produce it exists” (p. 186) and 
their calls for innovative approaches to gathering of data have since been 
answered. Beginning in 2002, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 
created the Global Programme Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GPAT), and 
establish a single database on flows of human trafficking (UNODC, 2006).  The 
publication in 2006 from the UNODC, based on the single database, is perceived 
to have provided stronger insights into human trafficking and assisted in 
alleviating some of the concern regarding the reliability and validity of estimates 
of trafficking.  However, it is important that research regarding human trafficking 

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