Urban Institute on Human Trafficking


For my white paper, I’m going to explore the topic of human trafficking. When I started my search on human trafficking within think tanks, I found so much information right from the start. I wasn’t really surprised since human trafficking is such a global issue, but I was a little overwhelmed and didn’t really know where to begin. So, I just picked one. The think tank that I chose was the Kennedy School of Government List. This think tank is a directory and it has so many different sources that it searches for your topic, both U.S. and Internationally based. The source that I chose to look at was the Urban Institute. What I found was that researchers within the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center work on a variety of national and international studies on human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

A bar-code tattoo is common among victims.

Photo Credit: http://www.morethanrice.com/category/blog/page/7

One current study that the Urban Institute is conducting is to better understand the organization, operation, and victimization of labor trafficking in the United States. In the U.S., not much is known about the nature of labor trafficking victimization. Furthermore, there is little information known about how labor traffickers and their facilitators operate.  The study analyzes various components of the labor victimization experience, such as recruitment, entrapment, and transportation. It also analyzes the documents acquisition, the victimization itself, victim efforts to seek help, and the process of victim extraction from the exploitative situation. I thought that this source provided great additional background information for my white paper, and I definitely plan on using the Urban Institute as well as the Kennedy School of Government List think tank for more  idead for my white paper.

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14 responses to “Urban Institute on Human Trafficking

  1. So the UI is a larger think tank and this is a sub-program?

    Why is not much known in the US? Does the think tank imply more is known in other countries.

    Just in general, I am often interested in seeing how this issue is the dark side of globalization- its communication, transportation, and financial networks are open to legitimate trade, but also black markets.

  2. Wow! This is pretty awesome Linds. I never really thought of Human Trafficking as an industry but apparently it is a really profitable one. I wonder what type of research these think tanks would do to gather their findings. I think the most interesting part of this is how people actually get involved in this business in the first place? I feel like people do not dream to be “human traffickers” as young children. I would love to read your white paper when it is done!

  3. I think this topic would be very interesting to explore for your white paper. Human trafficking is a human rights issue that is rarely discussed in the United States, as you mentioned, so the topic will be fascinating to research further. I personally have no knowledge of the modern human trafficking issue and which countries it is the most popular. If you choose to pursue this topic, update us with the information you find on domestic human trafficking, I am interested to know more!

  4. Jordi- from what I have seen in various images and and through my brief research, the bar code is in fact tattooed. Behind the neck (like in this picture) is often a common spot as well as the hands of many victims from what I have read.

    At this point, I don’t have an exact answer as to why little information is known in the U.S. on human trafficking. But, the think tank (as well as other sources I have taken a look at) does imply that the majority of the focus of this issue is on International countries but acknowledge that it does exist domestically. Personally, I think that such little information is known about it in the U.S. because we like to be under the impression that slavery no longer exists and that we couldn’t possibly have human trafficking occuring in our country. But we do, and I’ll be really interested to report back to all of you when I find out more!

  5. Really interesting topic, Lindsey. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie Taken or not, but it is frightening to think that those types of human trafficking organizations are so prevalent all over the world and even in the United States.

  6. James beat me to the punch, but I was going to ask if you have seen the movie Taken as well. Of course, that is likely an exaggerated circumstance, so we can see Liam Neeson cruise across Europe and kill recreate his daughters experience, killing all the bad guys in the way, but all joking aside, this is an extremely horrifying reality in our world. The fact that there is actual human trafficking is in our world is absolutely disturbing. I think that this is a great idea for a paper topic, and would be very interested to see what you learn, because I am pretty clueless on the topic and would like to learn more.

  7. I saw your Title of your blog post and immediately was interested. Human Trafficking is such a mysterious industry. The fact that people do this others is unbelievable. I was first exposed by the media to the sex trafficking industry. I know MSNBC has several documentaries on it with undercover cameramen. The documentaries are very interesting and may be helpful for you to gain more insight into human trafficking.

  8. This topic choice will be very interesting to research further. It is strange how there is not very much information about human trafficking domestically, although I am sure using this think tank will be key to investigating the topic further. I was also immediately drawn to your topic because of the movie Taken. I think the movie did a great job of exposing its audience to human sex trafficking and getting people curious about the issue.

  9. I was also thinking about writing about human trafficking, so I was really happy to find your blog post. I am kind of fascinated by the human trafficking industry because it highlights a part of our society that is so unethical and horrible. This is a serious problem in the world, and in the major cities that surround us, so it is definitely something that we should be cognizant of.

  10. Thinking that people actually do this for a living is disgusting. In the movie “End of Watch,” the main characters keep coming across houses with human trafficking inside. I recommend seeing this movie if you’re looking to write your paper on this topic.

  11. This topic quickly brings to mind the “Taken” films starring Liam Neeson for me too! I also agree with Josh that the MSNBC documentaries are a great resource as a number of them have aired over the past few years. I imagine this is an issue that many parents take into consideration prior to sending their kids abroad…

  12. I think what would be really interesting to look at is the difference in trafficking between that of the US and other countries and how the problem might change between nations. Also an interesting point would be to see how each country deals with it and if we could learn anything from other nations throughout the world.

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