The swell of attention surrounding human trafficking over the past two decades has driven policies and laws to combat this global issue. However, these efforts are based on assertions about human trafficking—it is huge in magnitude; it is a growing problem; and it ranks among criminal enterprises—that have no empirical evidence. Without such evidence, we lack a true understanding of the reach of human trafficking. Instead, we are left to believe sensationalized media stories, celebrity activists, and political discourse.
This groundbreaking volume of The ANNALS offers empirical studies that explore the complexity, scope, and particular locales of human trafficking. The articles look beyond the misconceived portrayals of human trafficking, delving into often overseen dimensions of it, such as labor trafficking and migration, and provide breakthrough findings on victims, facilitators, and offenders. Further high-quality empirical analysis will bring about a better understanding of the nuances of human trafficking and can be used to inform future policies.