Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presented at Second Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Embassy Suites Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska, September 30 – October 2, 2010. Copyright 2010 Bekir Cinar.


Human trafficking is defined as "it involves the exploitation of people through force, coercion, threat, or deception and includes human rights abuses such as debt bondage, deprivation of liberty, or lack of control over freedom and labor" (Unclassified 2005). According to the Protocol (UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children) Human trafficking defines as "illegal trade of human beings, through abduction, the use or threat of force, deception, fraud, or 'sale' for the purposes of sexual exploitation or forced labor" (Unclassified 2005). It is clear that human trafficking is an illegal criminal activity and relies heavily on "supply and demand" like other for-profit industries. Moreover, International Labour Organization and United Nations states that "each year, between 700,000 – 900,000 people fall victim to trafficking across international borders and are bought, sold, transported and held against their will worldwide." Moreover, it is estimated that "between 12-27 million people" (Elizabeth Pathy Salett 2006) have been victimised by the human traffickers. Consequently these figures evidently prove that human trafficking is one of major organised criminal activities in today world.

This paper will investigate human trafficking in general and particular attention will be given to using of human trafficking by a terrorist organisation namely, The Kurdish Worker Party (PKK). Because, "this 21st Century manifestation of the slave trade is currently a multi-billion dollar industry built on consumer demand for a single product—fellow human beings. Human traffickers offer consumers several 'products'—child soldier, domestic servant, exotic dancer, manual laborer, etc" (Bensenia 2010), organ trade. The PKK needs money in order to continue its terrorists‘ activities. Due to its lucrative attractions, as literature clearly indicates that not only the PKK but also other type of criminal and terrorist organisations are in this industry.

In the paper, initially human trafficking to and from Turkey will be investigated. Then the birth of the PKK, terrorism and its terrorist activities in Turkey especially summarised. The PKK‘s involvement in human trafficking will be analysed by sub-section including case studies as stories of those people who have been victim in human trafficking, and I have collected data by using a qualitative methods. Finally a conclusion will be drawn from the paper.