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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  offence and may induce fear in the trafficked individual they are to protect. If law enforcement is to effectively combat human trafficking offences relating to sexual exploitation, task forces should be created that seek to track and identify sexually exploited prostitutes, without creating a fear of arrest. Vice units that continue to arrest prostitutes and then probe their status regarding human trafficking create unnecessary barriers that force situations where prostitutes may not feel comfortable revealing their status as a trafficked individual. Assessing and evaluating a claim of trafficking is possibly even more difficult, especially considering the likelihood that law enforcement is involved in human trafficking offences in various regions of the world (UNODC, 2006). Corruption of law enforcement may pose serious implications for the number of individuals trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation; it is plausible that human trafficking offences are underreported in regions where law enforcement is known to actively engage in corruption and, more specifically, prostitution. Law enforcement cannot actively engage in combating a problem that may not exist in the numbers suggested by the media, government and human trafficking literature. Further accentuating the issue is the possibility that some willingly trafficked individuals may be unaware that they are being exploited, as defined by the country where they have been trafficked. A trafficked individual’s lack of awareness may be a possible ramification of the economic and social realities of their legal country of residence. Defining a subjective concept in the legal world The subjectivity of exploitation is emphasized when law enforcement is 71

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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offence and may induce fear in the trafficked individual they are to protect.  If law 
enforcement is to effectively combat human trafficking offences relating to sexual 
exploitation, task forces should be created that seek to track and identify sexually 
exploited prostitutes, without creating a fear of arrest.  Vice units that continue to 
arrest prostitutes and then probe their status regarding human trafficking create 
unnecessary barriers that force situations where prostitutes may not feel 
comfortable revealing their status as a trafficked individual.  Assessing and 
evaluating a claim of trafficking is possibly even more difficult, especially 
considering the likelihood that law enforcement is involved in human trafficking 
offences in various regions of the world (UNODC, 2006).  Corruption of law 
enforcement may pose serious implications for the number of individuals 
trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation; it is plausible that human 
trafficking offences are underreported in regions where law enforcement is 
known to actively engage in corruption and, more specifically, prostitution.
Law enforcement cannot actively engage in combating a problem that may 
not exist in the numbers suggested by the media, government and human 
trafficking literature.  Further accentuating the issue is the possibility that some 
willingly trafficked individuals may be unaware that they are being exploited, as 
defined by the country where they have been trafficked.  A trafficked individual’s 
lack of awareness may be a possible ramification of the economic and social 
realities of their legal country of residence.
Defining a subjective concept in the legal world
The subjectivity of exploitation is emphasized when law enforcement is 

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