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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  cases, the notion that the media tends to focus on the most heinous and sensational crimes is important to this study (Boots & Heide, 2006; Ericson, 1995; Jewkes, 2004). This study’s indication of the tendency of the media to focus on sexual servitude and forced prostitution means that cases involving flagrant sexual exploitation are over-reported by the news media. While some of these cases may have been lost in the initial data collection stages, cases involving such blatant exploitation were often covered in numerous news sources and were frequently captured in the results of this study. 31 Although one might argue that countries without anti-trafficking legislation would not be represented in these cases of sexual exploitation, the act of forced sexual servitude is considered in the human trafficking literature to occur in the destination country. As such, the arrest and prosecution for the sexual exploitation would occur in the destination country. As claimed in much of human trafficking literature, the developed world acts as the demand side of the global sex trade. If true, the destination country for sexual exploitation is more likely to be a developed country. The majority of developed countries in the world have ratified the United Nations convention against human trafficking and have adopted legislation to prevent trafficking and sexual exploitation (UNODC, 2006). These concepts are important for human 31 I did not systematically analyze the number of times an article appeared in various newspapers because the nature of the Google News Archive (GNA) search engine algorithms prevented me from doing so. GNA algorithms are specifically created to minimize the number of newspaper articles reporting on the same news story. The goal of this study was to capture as many unique incidents of human trafficking as possible during the January 2007 to June 2007 time period. 59

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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cases, the notion that the media tends to focus on the most heinous and 
sensational crimes is important to this study (Boots & Heide, 2006; Ericson, 
1995; Jewkes, 2004).
This study’s indication of the tendency of the media to focus on sexual 
servitude and forced prostitution means that cases involving flagrant sexual 
exploitation are over-reported by the news media.  While some of these cases 
may have been lost in the initial data collection stages, cases involving such 
blatant exploitation were often covered in numerous news sources and were 
frequently captured in the results of this study.
Although one might argue that 
countries without anti-trafficking legislation would not be represented in these 
cases of sexual exploitation, the act of forced sexual servitude is considered in 
the human trafficking literature to occur in the destination country. As such, the 
arrest and prosecution for the sexual exploitation would occur in the destination 
country.  
As claimed in much of human trafficking literature, the developed world 
acts as the demand side of the global sex trade. If true, the destination country 
for sexual exploitation is more likely to be a developed country.  The majority of 
developed countries in the world have ratified the United Nations convention 
against human trafficking and have adopted legislation to prevent trafficking and 
sexual exploitation (UNODC, 2006).  These concepts are important for human 
31
  I did not systematically analyze the number of times an article appeared in various 
newspapers because the nature of the Google News Archive (GNA) search engine algorithms 
prevented me from doing so.  GNA algorithms are specifically created to minimize the number 
of newspaper articles reporting on the same news story.   The goal of this study was to capture 
as many unique incidents of human trafficking as possible during the January 2007 to June 
2007 time period.
59


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