Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

James Levinson


Human Trafficking is defined as:

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

Over the past decade, modern-day slavery has generated an annual profit of between 12 and 60 billion dollars. Conservative statistics estimate that there are 2.5 million victims in slavery at any one time throughout the world. No country or population group has gone unscathed by the epidemic.

The information gathered in this thesis is the result of 8 months of research, interviews, and personal experience in Cambodia and the United States. A Program Constraints Assessment (PCA) approach and Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology were utilized, and information gathered via interviews and in-depth research. The primary question posed in this research is: Can the global society as a whole alter its attitudes and misconceptions about human trafficking, in order to effectively combat modern-day slavery?

Interviews and research reveal that human trafficking is symptomatic of other societal issues. In Cambodia – a country plagued by decades of violent turmoil and regime changes – severe poverty has been the primary catalyst to human trafficking into, out of and within the country. In domestic sex trafficking of minors within the United States truancy from school, running away from home, narcotics and alcohol abuse provide primary opportunities for the recruitment of victims.

Serious efforts to reduce human trafficking accordingly, will need to address these symptomatic issues as well as intensifying law enforcement. For developing countries, such as Cambodia, fair trade policies and regulations governing exports of good to U.S. and European markets will help reduce the poverty which precipitates trafficking. Needed also is stronger collaboration among grassroots organizations and between these organizations and national governments. In the United States, increased awareness of trafficking by parents and by the population as a whole is essential. Additionally increased funding is required for law enforcement personnel.


Inequality and Stratification | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance