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Human Trafficking


  • 2 tables
  • Page extent: 356 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.48 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521130875)

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$29.99 (G)

This book examines all forms of human trafficking globally, revealing the operations of the trafficking business and the nature of the traffickers themselves. Using a historical and comparative perspective, it demonstrates that there is more than one business model of human trafficking and that there are enormous variations in human trafficking in different regions of the world. Drawing on a wide body of academic research – actual prosecuted cases, diverse reports, and field work and interviews conducted by the author over the last sixteen years in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the former socialist countries – Louise Shelley concludes that human trafficking will grow in the twenty-first century as a result of economic and demographic inequalities in the world, the rise of conflicts, and possibly global climate change. Coordinated efforts of government, civil society, the business community, multilateral organizations, and the media are needed to stem its growth.


Introduction; Part I. The Rise and Costs of Human Trafficking: 1. Why has human trafficking flourished?; 2. The diverse consequences of human trafficking; Part II. The Financial Side of Human Trafficking: 3. Human trafficking as transnational organized crime; 4. The business of human trafficking; Part III. Regional Perspectives: 5. Asian trafficking; 6. Human trafficking in Eurasia and Eastern Europe; 7. Trafficking in Europe; 8. Trafficking in the United States; 9. Human trafficking in Latin America and Africa; Conclusion.

Prize Winner

Winner, 2012 International Association for the Study of Organized Crime Distinguished Scholar Award


“A comprehensive and insightful overview of this crime that snares hundreds of thousands of new victims every year. Professor Shelley sidesteps the tear-jerking melodrama that has tempted so many authors on the subject. Her analytical approach to revealing the inner workings of the business provides more than enough drama. This is the book many of us have been waiting for: a serious yet lively volume that will be eye-opening and inspirational to the reader who knows little about the issue while providing new insights to experienced practitioners and academics.”
– Richard Danziger, Head of Counter Trafficking, International Organization for Migration

“Using her unique global network and unparalleled access to informants and data, Louise Shelley has written the single most important volume on human trafficking to date. It provides the most comprehensive and convincing explanation of the causes and consequences of human trafficking that I have read, examines the financial side of human trafficking, and explains how the phenomenon has developed in very different ways across the world’s main regions. Her conclusion that human trafficking will continue to grow in the twenty-first century poses an enormous challenge for policymakers to rethink their current approaches.”
– Khalid Koser, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

“Louise Shelley has drawn on her scholarly skills and practical experience to produce an invaluable contribution to our understanding of human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of women and children. Her book not only provides us with a sense of the root causes and motivations of those trafficked as well as the means and methods of the traffickers and their clients, but also offers sound analysis and policy recommendations for governments, international organizations, and private institutions to combat this growing global problem.”
– Ambassador (Retired) Melvyn Levitsky, Professor, Gerald R. Ford School, the University of Michigan

“Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a complex phenomenon that spans the globe. In a masterful scholarly work, Louise Shelley examines the numerous interconnected elements that comprise the crime of human trafficking, including the interplay of supply and demand and the role of transnational organized crime. In a broad, in-depth, and authoritative analysis, Shelley explores the patterns of trafficking in almost every country around the world – reflecting the phenomenon’s intimate linkages to the processes of globalization. With this well-documented book, Shelley is filling an important gap in any scholar’s, advocate’s, or student’s library of human trafficking. Hers is an important and timely contribution to a field in which rigorous academic scholarship is critical for effective policymaking and development.”
– Mohamed Y. Mattar, The Protection Project, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“Trafficking in human beings is modern-day slavery and has become a widespread phenomenon. However, it does not yet rise to the same level of concern as other human rights violations such as torture, or other serious transnational crimes such as drug trafficking. In her excellent and inspiring research, Dr. Louise Shelley demonstrates the seriousness of this crime and helps us better understand the links between organized crime and a globalized economy. Importantly, she also enables us to examine the different features of this crime, including the human dimension, which involves the subjugation and exploitation of socially vulnerable people.”
– Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

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