Measuring the Non-Measurable: Towards the Development of Indicators for Measuring Human Trafficking

  • Sonia Stefanizzi


This chapter does not focus so much on the empirical aspects of trafficking in human beings, nor does it aim at demonstrating the inadequacy of available statistical data or suggesting the best definition and the most efficient methods for measuring the phenomenon. It examines the problem from a different angle, by reflecting upon the instability that characterizes all knowledge based on empirical research and, particularly, upon the reflexivity of knowledge and social practices. Over the last twenty years, the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings, as well as that of immigration, have been controversial ‘‘objects’’ of measurement, as regards both the number and the characteristics of the individuals at risk and of the victims. This area of study involves a plurality of data at various levels, which frequently, if not always, prove fragmentary and difficult to compare. The following essay examines the main factors behind this phenomenon, factors which cannot all be easily or quickly eliminated, whether in theory or in practice.


Sexual Exploitation Human Trafficking Criminal Organization Migration Policy Permanent Residence 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Stefanizzi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Milan-BicoccaMilanItaly

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