A Criminal Network Approach to Understanding & Measuring Trafficking in Human Beings

  • Jay Albanese


Developing a rational and transparent method to estimate the extent of trafficking in human beings is fundamental to understanding the scope of the problem, changes in its occurrence, and its appropriate place on the agenda for law and policy attention. The problems of existing estimates of trafficking are examined, and reasons for the disjunction between these estimates and known cases reviewed. Three methods for understanding and measuring trafficking in human beings are assessed: (1) extrapolating the risk of trafficking from other known risks, (2) using known cases to estimate the universe, and (3) using a network model of human trafficking as an illicit enterprise which reacts to known and measurable pressures. The network approach focuses on understanding the criminal networks that organize to exploit victims, rather than on solely predicting victim counts. Examples of each of these methods are presented in terms of their strengths and limits, and a combined approach is proposed to produce the most accurate picture of human trafficking. It is shown that a good estimation model can be used to document the risk and extent of human trafficking as an illicit enterprise, trends in its occurrence, and the effectiveness of measures design to\break reduce it.


Organize Crime Sexual Exploitation Human Trafficking Criminal Group Corruption Perception Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Albanese
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Government and Public Affairs Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; former Chief, International Center, National Institute of JusticeWashingtonUSA

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