The Social Construction of Trafficked Persons: An Analysis of the UN Protocol and the TVPA Definitions
Taylor & Francis
Journal of Progressive Human Services
This study is an investigation of the discourse surrounding trafficked persons. The U.S. federal government constructs human trafficking as “illegal immigration” and “prostitution.” As such, it may prioritize punishing those who violate trafficking laws. In order to examine this, a content analysis was conducted examining the United Nations Protocol on Human Trafficking and the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Findings suggest that the way in which these laws construct the meaning of trafficking and the surrounding discourse may be influenced by political agendas and subsequently may also influence the utilization of policies and the allocation of social services.