Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presented at First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 29-31, 2009.
Copyright © 2009 Noël Busch-Armendariz, Maura Nsonwu, and Laurie Cook Heffron. Used by permission.


Perpetrator typologies have been useful in understanding other crimes, such as do-mestic violence, and serve a similar purpose in enhancing our knowledge base about human trafficking. Typologies of human traffickers can be useful in improving our understanding about elements needed for successful investigations and prosecu-tions; developing appropriate services for victims and survivors; preventing human trafficking; and increasing community awareness.

The goal of this project is to explore the types of traffickers based on key characteris-tics found in the literature and in prosecuted cases. The initial two phases of this re-search, reported here, involve a review of literature, government reports, and media reports of prosecuted cases related to human trafficking and in-depth interviews with prosecutors and national experts who have experience working cases involving human trafficking crimes. In a future phase (using non-OVC funds), interviews will be conducted with offenders who have been convicted on charges related to human trafficking. This phase of the study addresses the following research questions: 1) what types of traffickers and trafficking crimes exist?, and 2) how can they be cate-gorized into criminal typologies?