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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  The results of this study support the notion that the United States appears to approach human trafficking as a homeland security issue. Of the 60 (39%) arrests/prosecutions that occurred in the US, 42% (n=25) were cases of illegal immigration, with the majority of individuals travelling from Mexico. These arrests were often defined as incidents of human trafficking and were prosecuted as such. The “trafficked” individuals in these cases were deported and the smugglers were charged with human trafficking. If these incidents were all acts of human trafficking, which can only be defined as such when the act is exploitative, then the “trafficked” individuals should not have faced immediate deportation (as suggested by the US TVPA). The US’ homeland security approach to human trafficking is further exemplified when considering that countries not allied with the United States are frequently touted as strong participants in human trafficking, who are doing little to end the plight of trafficked individuals. Further indicative of the US’ security approach to human trafficking occurred with Malaysia’s adoption of democratic policies, coinciding with their ratification of the TVPA, and their subsequent removal from the TVPA watch list, by the United States; this is especially important considering Malaysia’s continued role in the child sex trade and the perceived corruption of law enforcement and government. A homeland security approach to human trafficking is problematic (Friman & Reich, 2007) because the approach suggests that a crime has occurred against the state, rather than the individual. Although the results of this study indicate that the United States is taking 79

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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The results of this study support the notion that the United States appears 
to approach human trafficking as a homeland security issue.  Of the 60 (39%) 
arrests/prosecutions that occurred in the US, 42% (n=25) were cases of illegal 
immigration, with the majority of individuals travelling from Mexico.  These arrests 
were often defined as incidents of human trafficking and were prosecuted as 
such.  The “trafficked” individuals in these cases were deported and the 
smugglers were charged with human trafficking.  If these incidents were all acts 
of human trafficking, which can only be defined as such when the act is 
exploitative, then the “trafficked” individuals should not have faced immediate 
deportation (as suggested by the US TVPA).   
The US’ homeland security approach to human trafficking is further 
exemplified when considering that countries not allied with the United States are 
frequently touted as strong participants in human trafficking, who are doing little 
to end the plight of trafficked individuals.  Further indicative of the US’ security 
approach to human trafficking occurred with Malaysia’s adoption of democratic 
policies, coinciding with their ratification of the TVPA, and their subsequent 
removal from the TVPA watch list, by the United States; this is especially 
important considering Malaysia’s continued role in the child sex trade and the 
perceived corruption of law enforcement and government.  A homeland security 
approach to human trafficking is problematic (Friman & Reich, 2007) because the 
approach suggests that a crime has occurred against the state, rather than the 
individual.  
Although the results of this study indicate that the United States is taking 
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