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Organised Crime and Trafficking in Persons

NCJ Number
Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice Issue: 436 Dated: March 2012 Pages: 1-12
Fiona David
Date Published
March 2012
12 pages
This paper from the Australian Institute of Criminology provides an overview of existing research on organized crime's involvement with human trafficking internationally and in Australia.
This report presents the results of a literature review that identified international and Australian research on one or more of the following: the organization of trafficking in persons offending, the motivations of offenders involved in trafficking in persons crimes, and/or intersections between trafficking criminality and other forms of criminality such as drugs or smuggling. A keyword search was conducted on three social science bibliographic databases: Pro-Quest, SAGE, and Wiley Online, and two EndNote libraries. The search identified 18 sources that met the criteria for inclusion in the study; 11 of the sources involved research situated in 1 or more parts of Europe and the United Kingdom; 7 sources focused specifically on trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation purposes; 2 focused primarily on the exploitation of migrant workers; 1 focused primarily on the organization of migrant smuggling; and the remainder focused on a mix of trafficking cases. The review also found that 11 of the sources relied on qualitative research methods, while the remaining 7 sources used a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The review also found limited research that directly addresses the extent to which organized criminal groups are involved in trafficking in persons crimes in Australia. Key themes emerging from the international literature include the following: diversity in the organizational structure for those accused of trafficking offending; the role of intermediaries in trafficking in persons processes; offenders' motives; and intersections with other forms of criminality. References