First Advisor

Christopher Carey

Date of Award

Summer 9-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice and University Honors


Criminology and Criminal Justice




Human Trafficking, Sex trafficking, Prostitution Law, Criminal Law, Public Policy, Economic Theory




In recent years, sex trafficking has become more well-known in the public sphere, generating activism and legislation in an effort to combat this human rights issue. With this increased awareness comes challenges in appropriately understanding sex trafficking. The general public and even lawmakers often do not understand the complete dynamic or complexities of sex trafficking. Definitional inconsistencies make it difficult to provide a universal definition of sex trafficking, contributing to misconceptions involving the methods of entry and the barriers to exiting. Ultimately, this prevents proper identification of victims, hinders the protection of victims, and the implementation of survivor-oriented legislation, meaning such policies lead to the prosecution of survivors and fail to mitigate the non-consensual exploitation of individuals. Previous literature on sex trafficking focuses on these aspects but does not include a comprehensive approach by incorporating all necessary information that requires consideration when informing individuals about this topic. The current literature allows lawmakers to formulate policies and legislation they deem effectively reduces sex trafficking. However, ethical concerns arise when previous literature lacks the information required to evaluate this issue, creating questions regarding whether improper conclusions in policy proposals or legislation occurred and whether they consider all variables and barriers involved in sex trafficking. To bridge this gap between previous literature's potentially fallacious implications, formulating the foundations for current anti-sex trafficking legislation and actual survivor outcomes, this thesis will provide a comprehensive analysis of the methods of entry and the unique complexities of sex trafficking. The paper will then apply this information by analyzing current legal models of prostitution worldwide to determine which legal models effectively mitigate sex trafficking and protect survivors by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000's framework.

Persistent Identifier