Beyond Discourse: Critical and Empirical Approaches to Human Trafficking

In April the entire Human Trafficking Research Lab traveled to Lawrence Kansas to present our research paper entitled “Human Trafficking Task Force in the US Overlapping Jurisdiction and Shifting Typologies” at Beyond Discourse: Critical and Empirical Approaches to Human Trafficking. 
The research focused on the development and collaborations of human trafficking task forces, anti-trafficking institution established to combat human trafficking around the US. We formulated a unique database mapping over 200 human trafficking task forces, coalitions, working groups and/or commissions throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico at different levels of governance from state, to region, county, and city. We created a typology of human trafficking task forces to show task force variation, the overlapping distribution of government grants, and the impetus for the task forces. We determined that there were seven different types of human trafficking task forces in the US from the grassroots level to those created by the Department of Justice. We found that some task forces do not serve all victims and focus on sex trafficking and or child victims reaffirming the deserving and undeserving victim dichotomy. We also discovered shifting typologies and increased professionalization as some task forces were created under one auspice and then transformed into another. 

This research was supported by the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) in 2018 and Williams Professorship funds and is currently under review in an academic journal


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