Forum on Crime and Society

Special Issue - Improving Knowledge on Crime: Towards Better Data

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Proceedings of the meeting of the open-ended expert group on ways and means of improving crime data collection, research and analysis with a view to enhancing the work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other relevant international bodies, Vienna, 8-10 February 2006

English Spanish, French


An enterprise modelling approach to assessing networks for trafficking in persons

Developing a rational and transparent method to estimate the extent of trafficking in persons is fundamental to understanding the scope of the problem, changes in its occurrence and its appropriate place on the legal and policy agenda. In the present article, the problems of existing estimates of trafficking in persons are examined and reasons for the disjunction between those estimates and known cases are reviewed. Three methods for understanding and measuring trafficking in persons are assessed. The first extrapolates the risk of trafficking in persons from other known risks, the second uses specific known cases to estimate the full extent of trafficking, and the third uses a network enterprise model of human trafficking as an illicit enterprise that reacts to known and measurable pressures. The network enterprise model approach focuses on understanding the criminal networks that organize to exploit victims, rather than on solely predicting victim counts. Examples of each of the methods are presented in terms of their strengths and limitations, and a combined approach is proposed to produce the most accurate picture of trafficking in persons. It is shown that a good estimation model can be used to document the risk and extent of trafficking in persons as an illicit enterprise, trends in its occurrence and the effectiveness of measures designed to reduce its incidence.

English Spanish, French

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