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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  focus on human trafficking rather than human smuggling. Because law enforcement and media identify cases of human smuggling as human trafficking, arrest rates may be disproportionate to the actual occurrences of human trafficking. Human trafficking may not be occurring at the rates currently highlighted in the literature. The rates of human trafficking may remain ambiguous if a homeland security approach to human trafficking continues. Limitations of the current study and directions for future research The nature of this study, and human trafficking research in general, poses several limitations. Perhaps the most significant limitation is the source of the data: newspaper articles. Although attempts were made during research to inhibit as many limitations as possible, this study has five noticeable limitations. First, this study relied on English language electronic newspapers and this resulted in a limited search arena for articles reporting human trafficking arrests and prosecutions; however, this limitation did not prevent the researcher from collecting data from a wide variety of countries and regions of the world, including countries that do not employ English as a primary language. Further research focusing on a wide variety of newspaper articles in varying languages might enhance the understanding of human trafficking. Second, the validity of the information contained within the newspaper articles regarding each individual trafficking event was not corroborated in all cases; however, validity checks were conducted at random for several cases for validation and such verification procedures resulted in validation of all cases submitted for substantiate analysis. It is extremely unlikely that Google News 83

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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focus on human trafficking rather than human smuggling.  Because law 
enforcement and media identify cases of human smuggling as human 
trafficking, arrest rates may be disproportionate to the actual occurrences 
of human trafficking.  Human trafficking may not be occurring at the rates 
currently highlighted in the literature.  The rates of human trafficking may 
remain ambiguous if a homeland security approach to human trafficking 
continues.
Limitations of the current study and directions for future 
research
The nature of this study, and human trafficking research in general, poses 
several limitations.  Perhaps the most significant limitation is the source of the 
data: newspaper articles. Although attempts were made during research to inhibit 
as many limitations as possible, this study has five noticeable limitations.  
First, this study relied on English language electronic newspapers and this 
resulted in a limited search arena for articles reporting human trafficking arrests 
and prosecutions; however, this limitation did not prevent the researcher from 
collecting data from a wide variety of countries and regions of the world, including 
countries that do not employ English as a primary language.  Further research 
focusing on a wide variety of newspaper articles in varying languages might 
enhance the understanding of human trafficking.
Second, the validity of the information contained within the newspaper 
articles regarding each individual trafficking event was not corroborated in all 
cases; however, validity checks were conducted at random for several cases for 
validation and such verification procedures resulted in validation of all cases 
submitted for substantiate analysis.  It is extremely unlikely that Google News 
83


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