CIPC » Publications » Rapports » A look ahead to ICPC's 4th International Report - highlights from the theme of Human Trafficking

A look ahead to ICPC's 4th International Report - highlights from the theme of Human Trafficking

Auteur(s) : Centre international pour la prévention de la criminalité

Human Trafficking: Minimal costs to Traffickers, enormous costs to Victims and Countries

Human trafficking generates billions of dollars in profits for traffickers across the world. In fact, current estimates expect that in the next ten years, human trafficking will surpass both the narcotics and arms trades in terms of impact, overall cost to human well-being, and profitability for criminals. Unlike other forms of traffic where crimes, sanctions, and victims are clearly defined, human trafficking poses multiple problems which reduce the economic and social costs to traffickers.  The first such problem is the consent of victims or their families to migrate, which can prevent these persons from being identified as victims of the eventual exploitation to which they may be subject during their voyage or upon arrival at their destination.

The second problem is the definition of human trafficking itself, which remains criticized by some as insufficiently precise – as is the case for the Palermo protocol’s definition of human trafficking. The third problem is the absence of adequate legislation in multiple countries, for example throughout Africa, or the non-ratification and implementation of anti-trafficking protocols. The result is that victims continue to be trafficked from countries where recruitment is relatively easy.

Finally, there exists a significant demand in countries of destination, in particular as regards prostitution, where traffickers can expect profits that range from five to twenty times the cost of recruiting victims. All of these factors render human trafficking an extremely lucrative trade which remains insufficiently prosecuted, the proof of which lies in the scarcity of trials and convictions in proportion to the number of estimated victims.
More information on our 4th International Report

Ten articles on human trafficking that you cannot miss


Bettio, F., & Nandi, T. K. (2010). Evidence on women trafficked for sexual exploitation: A rights based analysis. European Journal of Law and Economics, 29(1), 15–42.

Friebel, G., & Guriev, S. (2012). Human smuggling (Working Paper No. 6350). IZA. Consulté à l’adresse http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2010945

Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2013). 3rd General Report on GRETA’s Activities. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Huijsmans, R., & Baker, S. (2012). Child Trafficking:‘Worst Form’of Child Labour, or Worst Approach to Young Migrants? Development and Change, 43(4), 919–946.

Munro, V. E. (2006). Stopping traffic? A comparative study of responses to trafficking in women for prostitution. British Journal of Criminology, 46(2), 318-333.

OSCE (2010). Analysing the Business Model of Trafficking in Human Beings to Better Prevent the Crime. Vienna: OSCE.

Rao, S. & Presenti C. (2012). Understanding human trafficking origin: A cross-country empirical analysis. Feminist Economics, 18(2), 231-263.

Schauer, E. J., & Wheaton, E. M. (2006). Sex Trafficking Into The United States: A Literature Review. Criminal Justice Review, 31(2), 146 169. doi:10.1177/0734016806290136

Siegel, D., & de Blank, S. (2010). Women who traffic women: the role of women in human trafficking networks – Dutch cases. Global Crime, 11(4), 436 447.

Wheaton, E. M., Schauer, E. J., & Galli, T. V. (2010). Economics of human trafficking. International Migration, 48(4), 114–141