Forum on Crime and Society

Special Issue - Researching Hidden Populations: Approaches to and Methodologies for Generating Data on Trafficking in Persons

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This issue of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime journal Forum on Crime and Society focuses on research related to trafficking in persons. It contains articles by a range of researchers and academics with experience in identifying 'hidden populations' such as trafficking victims. The articles present research methods and approaches that have been used with success to uncover 'hidden populations' in different contexts in the past. It is hoped that this edition of the Forum will stimulate the generation of more sound data on the different aspects of trafficking in persons worldwide.



Stealing labour: an economic analysis of forced labour and human trafficking

The author approaches trafficking in persons and forced labour from the perspective of the labour market. The basic consideration is that traffickers and exploiters are robbing the communities of victims of trafficking in persons of their most valuable resource: labour. He compares the economic conditions of the labourer and the employer in an exploitative situation against conditions where the labourer is free to choose his or her working conditions. He calculates the economic losses and the benefits in each account of trafficking in persons, revealing who gains and who loses as a result of such crimes. According to the author, not only do forced labour and human trafficking have an economic impact on the victims and their communities, but also society as a whole suffers economic losses when coerced labour is used.


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