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NCJ Number: 196495 Find in a Library
Title: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: A Trafficking Dilemma
Journal: Crime & Justice International  Volume:18  Issue:62  Dated:May 2002  Pages:5-6-23
Author(s): David Webb
Date Published: May 2002
Page Count: 3
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the barriers to local law enforcement in addressing the problem of human trafficking.
Abstract: About 45,000 to 50,000 women and children are trafficked annually in the United States. Some governments may tend to underestimate the size of the problem. Trafficking includes all acts involved in the recruitment, abduction, transport, harboring, transfer, sale, or receipt of persons. Victims are placed in slavery or slavery-like conditions, such as forced prostitution or sexual services, domestic servitude, bonded sweatshop labor, or other debt bondage. The nature of trafficking makes it a prime target for organized crime. Transnational criminal organizations have expanded the range of their criminal activities so as to include human smuggling. There are three trends in relation to the sexual exploitation of women: (1) the globalization of the economy; (2) increased demand for personalized services in the developed world; and (3) the rise in unemployment among women. The three typical categories of trafficking victims are migrant agricultural workers, women forced into prostitution, and domestic servants kept as prisoners in their employers’ homes. On the surface, the exploiting industry may not appear to be doing something illegal, but part of the process may involve some form of illegal behavior. At the global level, much activity has taken place in recent years to address trafficking of women. At the local level, multi-agency task forces have been established to detect trafficking crimes. There still exists some reluctance for agencies to share information, jointly develop intelligence, and trust each other. Successful proactive initiatives are mostly intelligence led, depending on information from informants, surveillance, and the other agencies. Communication is one of the major barriers to the initiation of an investigation at the local level. Two other dilemmas at the local level mitigate against the chances of detection of trafficked victims. The first is the issue of political expediency. Local priorities tend not to include low visibility problems in the competing demands for scarce resources. The second issue is the actual identification of the problem or determining the difference between trafficked women and those women that choose prostitution. 1 table, 7 references, 2 footnotes
Main Term(s): Organized crime; Prostitution across international borders
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Human rights violations; Juvenile prostitution; Prostitution; Sex establishments; Smuggling/Trafficking
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