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A web resource for combating human trafficking


Academic Corner

Academics at universities and research institutions around the world play a very important role in supplying policymakers and service providers with useful research on the various aspects of human trafficking.

Strengths of academic research on human trafficking:

- Action-oriented approaches

- Recommendations made because of directed research

Weaknesses of academic research on human trafficking:

- Few comparative studies of trafficking based on extensive fieldwork

- Tendancy to focus on trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, neglecting other forms of trafficking

- Relatively little independent evaluation of counter-trafficking policies and programmes to assess impact and effectiveness

- Tendancy to focus more on international trafficking and less on internal trafficking, and the connection between internal and international trafficking

- Lack of agreement on definitions of terms, and what should be studied

Difficulties of conducting academic research on human trafficking:

- Difficulty interviewing victims of trafficking

- Limited resources and time

Pitfalls of academic research:

- repeating statistics of how many people are trafficked without providing a disclaimer that these statistics are only estimates

- not checking accuracy of claims

Sources used for this page:

- Frank Laczko & Elzbieta Gozdziak (eds). Data and Research on Human Trafficking: A Global SurveyInternational Migration. Vol. 43. International Organization for Migration. 2005.

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