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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  The level of organization at the beginning stages of the trafficking process is unclear. The Trafficking Database compiled by the UNODC suggests the type of criminal organization involved in human trafficking differs from the commonly perceived notion of a hierarchal structure (UNODC, 2006). Rather than a top- down criminal organization, human trafficking tends to fluctuate between core group organizations, where roles are defined but no individual is more important than the next, and standard hierarchal groups (UNODC, 2006). The distinction between the two types of criminal organizations is important: hierarchical organizations are more likely engaged on an ongoing basis in a lucrative market for significant profit, while core group organizations are strictly opportunistic (UNODC, 2006). Like the drug market, there is a difference between those who provide “product” and those who sell the product to an end-user. The demand of the market supports the notion of purchasing individuals for forced prostitution, but the demand does not provide a complete description of the causes for an individual to sell a human for profit. Also like drug trafficking, there are certain individuals who sell a commodity in order to survive, while other individuals involve themselves in the market in order to enjoy a substantial profit (Shannon, 1999; Williams, 1999; Zhang & Chin, 2002). Human trafficking literature deals extensively with the latter, and minimally with the former. While there are some instances of criminal organizations involved from beginning to end (Shannon, 1999; Stone, 1999; Williams, 1999), criminal organizations are not always involved at the beginning stages. A study by Zhang & Chin (2002) of Chinese 19

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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The level of organization at the beginning stages of the trafficking process 
is unclear.  The Trafficking Database compiled by the UNODC suggests the type 
of criminal organization involved in human trafficking differs from the commonly 
perceived notion of a hierarchal structure (UNODC, 2006).  Rather than a top-
down criminal organization, human trafficking tends to fluctuate between core 
group organizations, where roles are defined but no individual is more important 
than the next, and standard hierarchal groups (UNODC, 2006).  The distinction 
between the two types of criminal organizations is important: hierarchical 
organizations are more likely engaged on an ongoing basis in a lucrative market 
for significant profit, while core group organizations are strictly opportunistic 
(UNODC, 2006).  
Like the drug market, there is a difference between those who provide 
“product” and those who sell the product to an end-user.  The demand of the 
market supports the notion of purchasing individuals for forced prostitution, but 
the demand does not provide a complete description of the causes for an 
individual to sell a human for profit.  Also like drug trafficking, there are certain 
individuals who sell a commodity in order to survive, while other individuals 
involve themselves in the market in order to enjoy a substantial profit (Shannon, 
1999; Williams, 1999; Zhang & Chin, 2002).  Human trafficking literature deals 
extensively with the latter, and minimally with the former.  While there are some 
instances of criminal organizations involved from beginning to end (Shannon, 
1999; Stone, 1999; Williams, 1999), criminal organizations are not always 
involved at the beginning stages.  A study by Zhang & Chin (2002) of Chinese 
19


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