Women,Crime, and Criminal Justice



Bernat,F. &amp Winkeller, H. (2010). Human sex trafficking: The globalbecomes local. Women&amp

CriminalJustice.20 (1-2): 186-192.


Thearticle, “Human sex trafficking: The global becomes local” byFrances Bernat and Heather Winkeller, discusses the need fordeveloping local approaches in fighting human trafficking. Thearticle identifies poverty and underdevelopment as the key factorsthat drive human sex trafficking with most victims being moved fromunderdeveloped to developed nations. In itself, human traffickingdoes not address poverty as many of its victims are made to believe,which also makes it hard to detect. On the contrary, it predisposesthe victims to sexual victimization, abuse, exposure to HIV, andstigmatization. Furthermore, cultural conditions that characterizehuman trafficking ensure that victims remain in bondage and aredependent on their traffickers even after they are released. Wherevictims are foreign, immigration laws may hinder their capability tobe free. This means that fighting human trafficking requireslocalized approaches to be effective.

Asa case study, the article highlights the localized approaches thatthe state of Arizona has employed in fighting human sex trafficking.Certain conditions unique to Arizona such as a porous border and theconnection of other crimes such as kidnappings and drug smuggling tohuman trafficking demands the state to develop appropriate localizedresponses. As such, law enforcement agencies tasked with fightinghuman trafficking collaborate with other specialized law enforcementagencies such as border patrol and the Drug enforcement agency (DEA).This has created a multipronged approach in fighting humantrafficking that is also backed by effective legislations. Ideally,the most fundamental thing in the anti-trafficking war in Arizona oranywhere else is identifying victims of human trafficking. There isalso a need to address the driving forces of human trafficking suchas poverty given that human trafficking might only be a symptom oflarger underlying issues. Thus, the article concludes that humantrafficking cannot be fought by making blanket international laws.There is need to consider local issues driving human trafficking,understand the gendered nature of human trafficking, developmechanisms to identify victims, provide social support for rescuedvictims, and also enact appropriate laws and enforce them to punishand deter human traffickers.