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Title: Modern Slavery Investigating Sex Trafficking in Europe
Authors: Cremos, Jacqueline
Advisors: Pop-Eleches, Grigore
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: This thesis undertakes a statistical analysis of major patterns in the trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is undoubtedly a gendered crime, much like rape and domestic violence. To study it is to study the relationship between gender, power and vulnerability. I will attempt to answer the question: how can we best explain patterns of trafficking for sexual exploitation in Europe? In this sense I will map the key drivers of sex trafficking on the European continent. I will look at the three dominant hypotheses that seek to explain patterns of trafficking for sexual exploitation in Europe. I refer to the first as the hypothesis of structural vulnerability. This hypothesis looks at the factors which put women and other vulnerable populations uniquely at risk of predation by traffickers. I refer to the second as the hypothesis of market incentives. This approach views trafficking as a business with unique considerations of cost and profit. The legal status of prostitution is a particularly contentious aspect of this hypothesis. I refer to the third as the hypothesis of transnational networks. This hypothesis prioritizes the unique links between sending and receiving countries (on a dyadic basis) as an explanation for trafficking patterns. Key variables include migration, trade and other types of criminal activity which characterize each country dyad. The network hypothesis links sending and receiving countries, and ultimately holds a lot of explanatory power. After examining the evidence for each hypothesis in the literature review, I will set up and carry out a statistical analysis on the predicted causes of trafficking. I will discuss the results of the logistic regression, which tests the effect of several variables on the probability that trafficking will be reported between two countries, and the Ordinary Least Squares regression, which tests the effect of selected variables on the number of victims reported between two countries. Ultimately, the network hypothesis is well substantiated in certain parts of the literature, although often not directly. There is a very strong and consistent link between migration and trafficking. This link holds up through various statistical tests. In a sense, its conclusions are intuitive; where there is migration, there will be exploited migration – namely, trafficking. But the mechanisms that shape the link between migration and trafficking are more complex than just repeated coincidence. Migrants are at the intersection of several vectors of vulnerability. Firstly, they tend to be poor, which has been shown to substantively affect a person’s (and a country’s) susceptibility to trafficking. Secondly, the majority of migrants are women, who face very particular types of power-based violence, and are uniquely vulnerable to being trafficked. Thirdly, as migrants they are in a state of vulnerability because they are at a disadvantage compared to the native population; there is often a language difference, cultural barriers, and, in many such cases, racism and xenophobia. Traffickers prey on migrants exactly because they are extremely vulnerable to predation. Determining this link between migration and trafficking has substantial consequences for the way we approach the study of trafficking. The dominant patterns of trafficking have little to do with the isolated characteristics of sending and receiving countries. Rather, it is the unique links and relationships between sending and receiving countries which offer the most compelling explanation of trafficking patterns.
Extent: 127 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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