Human trafficking from a multidisciplinary perspectives: a literature review


Ravi Mahalingam

Volume 2, Issue 2
Year 2019

human trafficking; migration; business enterprise; organized crime


The crime of human trafficking is a complex phenomenon that is often affected by a wide range of social, economic, political, and cultural aspects. To fully understand the crime of human trafficking, one must analyze the crime from multiple domains or perspectives. However, the human trafficking literature generally focused on aspects such as causal factors, victimization, and policy response, while other aspects like migration, the market system or the perpetrators that involved in the crime are given little attention. Therefore, this paper is an attempt to review the existing literature on human trafficking which includes a discussion on the connection between human trafficking and migration, human trafficking as a business enterprise, human trafficking and organized crime, as well as human trafficking from other contexts such as human rights, feminism, and security. The literature review comprised extensive information collected from 134 books, articles, academic papers, and policy documents with most of them are from the year 2010 and above. The review found a great deal of work on human trafficking that focused on deliberating the crime as an effect of irregular migration of people from the source countries to the destination countries. Besides, the review also indicate that the crime of human trafficking is nurtured by three important factors, namely the supply of potential victims for exploitation in the source countries, the constant demand for trafficked victims in the destination countries, and the presence of organized crime groups who act as intermediaries in supplying the victims to the end-users. Overall, it shows that the crime of human trafficking is business-oriented and profit-driven activity.


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