What Predicts Human Trafficking?


Bales, Kevin. 2007. "What Predicts Human Trafficking?" International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice 31 (2): 269-79.

Author: Kevin Bales


If the international community has achieved agreement on the definition of human trafficking, we still have only a partial understanding of what drives it. We know that poverty and vulnerability represent ‘push-factors’ and that employment opportunity presents an important ‘pull-factor.’ But which of these factors is the most important? The regression analysis of 76 variables undertaken here confirms that corruption, poverty, conflict, and the ‘pull’ factor of opportunity are all significant predictors of trafficking. Some of the most obvious strategies for slowing trafficking, on the basis of this analysis, would include those activities known to reduce ‘push’ factors, such as measures to reduce governmental corruption in both origin and destination countries, population control measures, especially poverty reduction, and tackling international inequalities in wealth. International financial institutions should give incentives to programmes for land reform, education and training, and health care, rather than promulgate ‘austerity’ requirements that undermine such programmes.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Trafficking, Human Trafficking

Year: 2007

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