Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking


Human Trafficking provides a critical engagement with the key debates on human trade. It addresses the subject within the broader context of global crime and the internationalisation of crime control. The book takes a broadly discursive approach and draws on historical, comparative as well as the latest empirical material to illustrate and inform the discussion of the major trends in human trafficking. The book helps to develop fresh theoretical insights into globalisation, exclusion and governance, and identifies a new research agenda that will ensure the book is of interest to advanced level students as well as academic scholars.


Maggy Lee

The trafficking of human beings has attracted considerable public and political concern in recent years. It is commonly understood to involve a variety of crimes and abuses associated with the recruitment, movement and sale of people (including body parts) into a range of exploitative conditions around the world. Media stories of international human trafficking typically conjure up images of all-pervasive organised crime networks, underworld mafias and unscrupulous snakeheads taking advantage of the illicit opportunities and unprecedented ease of communication and transportation offered by the new social and technical infrastructures in an increasingly globalised world.

Yet trafficking is nothing new. Trafficking and smuggling has been described as a diverse form of trade that is ‘as old as trade itself’, even though there is great diversity in what is trafficked, what trade is prohibited, and by whom over time. ‘Depending on the political winds and dominant social norms of the day, what is an illegitimate trade in one era may be a legitimate trade in another’(Andreas 1998: 78). Indeed, human trafficking has historical parallels with the traffic in and exploitation of black Africans in previous centuries, when the colonial slave trade was considered not only a lawful but desirable branch of commerce by European empires.

Today, human trafficking has become the subject for much empirical research, academic debate and advocacy in diverse disciplines and fields such as criminology, politics, law, human rights, sociologies of . . .

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