Award Date

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Emily I. Troshynski

Second Committee Member

M. Alexis Kennedy

Third Committee Member

Terance D. Miethe

Fourth Committee Member

Janice C. McMurray

Number of Pages



Human trafficking is a rising international issue that has become a key concern for human rights organizations and governments throughout the world. As such, new policies are being developed and implemented to combat the problem. A guiding standard for these policies is the United Nations (UN) 2003 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which established a formal definition of human trafficking. While the UN Protocol was a significant step in the fight against human trafficking, it is limited by its framework, which focuses heavily on criminalization and punishment of traffickers. Recent discourse and research argues that it is essential to consider root macro structural and societal sources of exploitation in order to establish more effective policies (Barner et al., 2014; Gallagher, 2001; Haynes 2009; Obokata, 2006; Pourmokhtari, 2015; Todres, 2011). Grounded in conflict and otherness theories, and human rights and feminist perspectives (feminist rights-based approaches), the current study uses data from national and international agencies to assess socioeconomic characteristics of nations (i.e. prevalence of human trafficking, social and economic development, gender inequality, and stability) that are associated with efforts to combat human trafficking. The results of this study are discussed in terms of their limitations and future research and policy directions regarding international responses to human trafficking.


Human rights; Human trafficking; Modern slavery; Secondary data analysis


Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | International Relations | Sociology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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