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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  human trafficking or smuggling. It is likely that men and women are equally affected by socioeconomic factors, and are willingly migrating to countries with greater employment prospects. Of the 8% (n=13) of US cases where individuals were trafficked regionally, the majority were related to sexual exploitation. As such, it is plausible to conclude that developed countries are capable of fuelling their own regional sex trade and that women and children are exploited regardless of the rights granted to them by their governing body. If, as Shannon (1999) contends, poverty is a supporter of sexual exploitation and women are willing to sell themselves in order to provide for their families, then it is conceivable that some individuals willingly migrate in order to participate in the sex industry of the destination country. Human trafficking research must adequately deal with the notion that adults are actively pursuing roles in sex industries across the world. While it is likely that socioeconomic factors influence decisions as to whether or not to pursue participation in the sex industry (Blanchet, 2002; Fagan, 1994; Mieczkowski, 1994, Shannon, 1994 Vocks & Nijboer, 2000), socioeconomic factors also influence whether or not individuals, both male and female, act as traffickers. Vocks & Nijboer (2000) suggest that women who are not coerced into sexual servitude are victims of strain and anomie, and are fighting against the dichotomy of expectations and few opportunities to succeed legally in society. Vocks & Nijboer’s argument can be taken one step further and be applied to the female trafficker: women who sexually exploit other women are doing so, much like their male counterpart, in order to garner success in society. 75

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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human trafficking or smuggling.  It is likely that men and women are equally 
affected by socioeconomic factors, and are willingly migrating to countries with 
greater employment prospects.  
Of the 8% (n=13) of US cases where individuals were trafficked regionally, 
the majority were related to sexual exploitation.  As such, it is plausible to 
conclude that developed countries are capable of fuelling their own regional sex 
trade and that women and children are exploited regardless of the rights granted 
to them by their governing body. If, as Shannon (1999) contends, poverty is a 
supporter of sexual exploitation and women are willing to sell themselves in order 
to provide for their families, then it is conceivable that some individuals willingly 
migrate in order to participate in the sex industry of the destination country. 
Human trafficking research must adequately deal with the notion that adults are 
actively pursuing roles in sex industries across the world.
While it is likely that socioeconomic factors influence decisions as to 
whether or not to pursue participation in the sex industry (Blanchet, 2002; Fagan, 
1994; Mieczkowski, 1994, Shannon, 1994 Vocks & Nijboer, 2000), 
socioeconomic factors also influence whether or not individuals, both male and 
female, act as traffickers.  Vocks & Nijboer (2000) suggest that women who are 
not coerced into sexual servitude are victims of strain and anomie, and are 
fighting against the dichotomy of expectations and few opportunities to succeed 
legally in society.  Vocks & Nijboer’s argument can be taken one step further and 
be applied to the female trafficker: women who sexually exploit other women are 
doing so, much like their male counterpart, in order to garner success in society. 
75


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