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Title: The Role of Technology in Combating Sex Trafficking
Authors: Ahn, Amy
Advisors: English, Beth
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Modern day slavery exists all over the world in the form of human trafficking, and sex trafficking is an illegal industry that is continuing to thrive. This thesis looks specifically at how sex trafficking has been tackled by various organizations that function on a global, federal, and local level using existing and emerging technologies. Although many anti-trafficking organizations and laws exist to combat the crime, sex trafficking numbers are neither decreasing nor accurate. Scholars argue that anti-trafficking efforts are doing more damage than good because organizations are not utilizing a consistent definition of sex trafficking. The current global- and federal-level definitions are ambiguous, so anti-trafficking organizations can interpret the laws to either include or exclude sex work within the definition of sex trafficking. Without a consistent and accurate definition of sex trafficking, organizations will potentially have less opportunities to collaborate, the public will be misinformed about the issue, and people’s privacy may be implicated because technology would be based on inconsistent definitions. This thesis analyzes organizations’ definitions of sex trafficking and use of Internet and social media technologies by collecting word frequencies, interviews with individuals who combat sex trafficking from various angles, and Congressional hearings and podcasts to highlight the impact inconsistent definitions has anti-trafficking efforts. This thesis contributes to the scholarly discussion on anti-trafficking efforts by arguing that sex trafficking should exclude sex work from its definition because associating sex work with sex trafficking undermines trafficking as a nonconsensual and exploitative crime and technological resources are wasted on misidentifying individuals who may face legal consequences from engaging in consensual sex work.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2020

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