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Trafficking Research for Law Enforcement John T. Picarelli Social Science Analyst International Center National Institute of Justice August 4, 2009 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Trafficking Research for Law Enforcement John T. Picarelli Social Science Analyst International Center National Institute of Justice August 4, 2009 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trafficking Research for Law Enforcement John T. Picarelli Social Science Analyst International Center National Institute of Justice August 4,

2 The Research Dilemma BIG questions remain on human trafficking –Who are the traffickers? –What routes do traffickers most frequently use? –How many trafficking victims? Collecting the data and research to answer these questions is difficult and daunting, but necessary 2

3 Actors: Who are the traffickers? Challenge: Access to subjects (e.g. traffickers or victims) Research Approach: Comparative case studies Sample Findings –Range of trafficking organizations –Role of organized crime 3

4 Example: Recruiters Recruiters in numerous cases were trusted family or community members Recruiters operate both in the U.S. and abroad Fraud remains a prominent recruiting tactic 4

5 Operation: How does trafficking work? Challenge: Access to sensitive data (e.g. case files or investigator notes) Research Approach: Social network analysis Sample Findings –Networks –Connections to other criminal acts 5

6 Example: Transporting Range of operations –Simple: Use of commercial transportation –Complex: Sophisticated networks & safehouses Visa fraud is common Connections to alien smuggling 6

7 Trends: How much trafficking? Challenge: Lack of quantifiable data Research Approach: Build databases Sample Findings –Sex trafficking accounted for 83% of the 1,229 alleged incidents of human trafficking reported to task forces over a 21 month period (2007-8) –Of some 812 counties estimated to have had at least one trafficking case, 696 (85.7%) were sex trafficking cases. 7

8 Example: Exploitation Debt bondage remains an important mechanism for control Some traffickers do not sequester their victims or withhold all of their wages 8

9 Evaluation Studies A valuable tool for developing policy Examines the utility of investments and programs Sample Findings –First Offender Prostitution Program (San Francisco) significantly reduced recidivism –Swedish approach not easily transposed to US 9

10 The Importance of Research Plenty of large questions remain unanswered –TVPRA 2005 & 2008 mandates –Literature reviews: Large gaps remain Initiatives –SPOG Subcommittee on Data and Research –Conference on human trafficking research –NIJ solicitations on human trafficking 10

11 Conclusions Research is needed to answer big questions Coordination between practitioners and researchers needed to meet research goals 11

12 National Institute of Justice: National Criminal Justice Reference Service 12


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