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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  Although cases of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation do exist, the results of this study show trends in human trafficking that suggest that a significant number of trafficking arrests and prosecutions are not related to sexual exploitation; in fact, the results of this study demonstrate that a significant proportion of trafficking incidents involved trafficked males (53% - n=89). Although 7% (n=6) of the trafficked males were exploited, the remaining 93% (n=83) were willingly smuggled without force or coercion and no exploitation occurred in the destination country. 33 This is not to say that no men are trafficked for exploitative purposes, but rather that trafficked males are rarely given the victim-status attention that their female and child counterparts receive in the media. Media portrayals of human trafficking as a dichotomy between a powerful male and a vulnerable female describe only a small proportion of human trafficking. Definitional issues affecting arrests and prosecutions of human trafficking Significant portions of the human trafficking literature position males as the exploiters and females as the victims in human trafficking. The current study indicates problems with this polarity. My data suggest that females were involved in exploitation, either with or without the cooperation of males in 51% (n=31) of the 61 exploitation incidents. Also, female offenders were frequently involved in the sexual exploitation of trafficked women and children, which is inconsistent with the notion that men exploit and women are exploited (Bertone, 33 Because many of the trafficked individuals were discovered en route to their final destination, it cannot be determined whether the trafficked males were trafficked for exploitation or willingly smuggled. 61

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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Although cases of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation 
do exist, the results of this study show trends in human trafficking that suggest 
that a significant number of trafficking arrests and prosecutions are not related to 
sexual exploitation; in fact, the results of this study demonstrate that a significant 
proportion of trafficking incidents involved trafficked males (53% - n=89). 
Although 7% (n=6) of the trafficked males were exploited, the remaining 93% 
(n=83) were willingly smuggled without force or coercion and no exploitation 
occurred in the destination country.
  This is not to say that no men are trafficked 
for exploitative purposes, but rather that trafficked males are rarely given the 
victim-status attention that their female and child counterparts receive in the 
media. Media portrayals of human trafficking as a dichotomy between a powerful 
male and a vulnerable female describe only a small proportion of human 
trafficking.
Definitional issues affecting arrests and prosecutions of human 
trafficking
Significant portions of the human trafficking literature position males as the 
exploiters and females as the victims in human trafficking.  The current study 
indicates problems with this polarity.  My data suggest that females were 
involved in exploitation, either with or without the cooperation of males in 51% 
(n=31) of the 61 exploitation incidents. Also, female offenders were frequently 
involved in the sexual exploitation of trafficked women and children, which is 
inconsistent with the notion that men exploit and women are exploited (Bertone, 
33
  Because many of the trafficked individuals were discovered en route to their final destination, 
it cannot be determined whether the trafficked males were trafficked for exploitation or willingly 
smuggled.
61


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