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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  of the individual accordingly. 20 • Initiation of transport was coded because of the implications for this study, as well as human trafficking research as a whole. As discussed previously, definitions of human trafficking and human smuggling do not necessarily rely on whether or not the trafficked or smuggled individual initiated transport, but once an individual is exploited, or if their transport occurred under fraudulent, coercive, or otherwise deceitful methods, the individual is a victim of a trafficking offence. Because of the definitional constraints of human trafficking and smuggling, the researcher opted to code with the following valuations: Unassigned, which was used if there was no indication that a trafficked individual had been coerced, deceived, forced, exploited 21 or if there was no indication or certain clarity that a trafficked individual had agreed to be transported; Trafficked person, which was used if the trafficked individual agreed to transport and was not coerced, deceived or forced into the decision and was not exploited upon arrival at the destination country 22 ; Trafficker—force, which was used in all cases involving only children 23 and in cases where a trafficked individual was physically, mentally or emotionally forced into the trafficking act or the 20 For example, names that included Mohammed, or any deviation of the spelling, were considered males. In addition, the name “Kaur” is commonly a middle name for females in Indian culture; any occurrences of this name were coded as female. 21 The concept of exploitation will be addressed in the Discussion chapter of this study because exploitation is subjective based on a variety of factors, including the geographic region, culture and social status of an individual, whether trafficker or trafficked individual. 22 The concept of exploitation is complex and for this study I only coded for exploitation in cases where it was implicitly clear in the article whether or not exploitation occurred. However, I did not assume that a case of exploitation did not occur if an article failed to mention exploitation; in these types of delicate cases, the researcher used the context of the article to assess exploitation, but did so without interpretation; for example, if a trafficked individual was involved in prostitution, the researcher did not assume that involvement in the sex industry implied sexual exploitation unless the article specifically addressed the force, coercion, luring or deceit of the trafficker in order to involve the trafficked person in prostitution. Any cases of ambiguity regarding force, deceit, exploitation and coercion were coded as “Unassigned” in order to legitimate the study as much as possible. 23 All cases involving only children, without parental accompaniment, were coded as forced trafficking because I employed the United Nations definition of human trafficking and human smuggling for this study and the United Nations specifically identifies that children under the age of eighteen are unable to legally consent to the act of trafficking (UNODC, 2006). 36

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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of the individual accordingly.
Initiation of transport was coded because of the implications for this 
study, as well as human trafficking research as a whole.  As discussed 
previously, definitions of human trafficking and human smuggling do 
not necessarily rely on whether or not the trafficked or smuggled 
individual initiated transport, but once an individual is exploited, or if 
their transport occurred under fraudulent, coercive, or otherwise 
deceitful methods, the individual is a victim of a trafficking offence. 
Because of the definitional constraints of human trafficking and 
smuggling, the researcher opted to code with the following valuations: 
Unassigned, which was used if there was no indication that a trafficked 
individual had been coerced, deceived, forced, exploited
 or if there 
was no indication or certain clarity that a trafficked individual had 
agreed to be transported; Trafficked person, which was used if the 
trafficked individual agreed to transport and was not coerced, deceived 
or forced into the decision and was not exploited upon arrival at the 
destination country
; Trafficker—force, which was used in all cases 
involving only children
 and in cases where a trafficked individual was 
physically, mentally or emotionally forced into the trafficking act or the 
20
  For example, names that included Mohammed, or any deviation of the spelling, were 
considered males.  In addition, the name “Kaur” is commonly a middle name for females in 
Indian culture; any occurrences of this name were coded as female.  
21
  The concept of exploitation will be addressed in the Discussion chapter of this study because 
exploitation is subjective based on a variety of factors, including the geographic region, culture 
and social status of an individual, whether trafficker or trafficked individual.
22
  The concept of exploitation is complex and for this study I only coded for exploitation in cases 
where it was implicitly clear in the article whether or not exploitation occurred.  However, I did 
not assume that a case of exploitation did not occur if an article failed to mention exploitation; 
in these types of delicate cases, the researcher used the context of the article to assess 
exploitation, but did so without interpretation; for example, if a trafficked individual was involved 
in prostitution, the researcher did not assume that involvement in the sex industry implied 
sexual exploitation unless the article specifically addressed the force, coercion, luring or deceit 
of the trafficker in order to involve the trafficked person in prostitution.  Any cases of ambiguity 
regarding force, deceit, exploitation and coercion were coded as “Unassigned” in order to 
legitimate the study as much as possible. 
23
  All cases involving only children, without parental accompaniment, were coded as forced 
trafficking because I employed the United Nations definition of human trafficking and human 
smuggling for this study and the United Nations specifically identifies that children under the 
age of eighteen are unable to legally consent to the act of trafficking (UNODC, 2006).
36


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