Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


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Presented at First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 29-31, 2009.
Copyright © 2009 Ron Hampton, Dwayne Ball, Julie Pennington, and Anh Nguyen,


The problem of estimating the true extent of human trafficking has yet to be well-solved. The study we will report used three estimation methods to estimate the number of persons trafficked out of the Ukraine. One was a small (N~1300) survey of randomly-selected families, another was a large (N~13,000) survey of households, and a third was a survey of key neighborhood informants. The three methods, while varying in questionnaire wording, sampling frame, and other methodological considerations, converged roughly on an estimate of the number of persons trafficked out of the Ukraine. The estimated number was much higher than statistics from social service agencies would indicate, suggesting that government anti-trafficking efforts should be accelerated. Further, against stereotype and expectations, 2/3 of those trafficked were men, suggesting that stereotypes of the typical trafficked person as a young woman sold into the sex trade may be seriously incomplete. The study offers methodologies that may be adaptable to other countries and contexts, and further suggests that a great deal of future work, both methodological and substantive, needs to be done in the area of estimation of the extent of human trafficking.

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