Human Trafficking

A Reference Handbook

by Alexis A. Aronowitz


From the kidnapping of girls and women to the fraud committed to procure kidney organs, the crimes of human trafficking continue in a never-ending cycle of exploitation.

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Cover image for Human Trafficking

February 2017


Pages 406
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/Law and Crime
  Politics, Law, and Government/Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Offering an up-to-date and comprehensive resource for students and general readers investigating human trafficking, this book examines the phenomenon in its many forms, the factors contributing to its existence, the victims it affects, and those who perpetrate this horrific crime.

The horrific reality is that millions of human beings are bought and sold every year worldwide. Human trafficking is not an obsolete practice, and these crimes are not rare in occurrence. Recent examples of human trafficking such as the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist organization Boko Haram and depictions of trafficking in films such as Taken have brought human trafficking squarely into the public eye. This book offers a comprehensive understanding of human trafficking in its many forms. It examines the traffickers who range from single operators to large, transnational organizations and investigates how they coerce, deceive, and exploit their victims in the domestic service, farming, construction, and sex industries as well as in the harvesting of organs.

The coverage includes common practices of human trafficking like sexual exploitation of women in Western and Central Europe, labor exploitation in the Middle East, and the exploitation of children in Western and Central Africa. Readers are introduced to various experts who have rescued and worked with victims, prosecuted cases, and conducted research to gain more insight into this crime and serious abuse of human rights, and they will gain insight into how a number of people and organizations are working to combat human trafficking and protect victims. Primary source documents that include reports by government, international organizations, and NGOs serve to aid readers in acquiring more knowledge on the topic.


  • Provides readers with a greater understanding of the complexities of human trafficking—from lack of clarity in the definition to the problem of identifying victims—and how human trafficking differs from human smuggling
  • Enables a greater appreciation for the social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to human trafficking and suggests how these crimes should be addressed
  • Suggests measures that have been introduced and must be applied more extensively to combat trafficking and protect potential victims
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about. Visit the entire list of titles in the series at


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Alexis A. Aronowitz, PhD, is senior lecturer in criminology at University College Utrecht and Leiden University College The Hague, the Netherlands. She has conducted and coordinated research on human trafficking for the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. She has served as a consultant on projects on human trafficking for the International Organization for Migration, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Human Rights First, and other international organizations. Aronowitz has been a guest speaker at the European Parliament, the Vatican, and other international conferences and has published extensively on the topic. Her published work includes Praeger's Human Trafficking Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings. Aronowitz has designed a course, Human Trafficking: An International Perspective, which has been taught at universities in the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States.



"This useful reference tool will orient high school students and undergraduates looking for assistance in framing their paper topics. Despite the 'Reference Handbook' subtitle, academic librarians may want to shelve the volume in circulating collections. Summing Up: Recommended. Beginning students; general readers."—Choice

"A fascinating and in-depth read that includes primary resources and reports from various government agencies, international agencies, and private organizations that give insight into what is being done currently and how to be watchful and aware if we suspect possible victimization. This would be a good resource for high school students seeking data for reports and research as well as for those just looking for more information on the topic. Recommended."—School Library Connection

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