Theoretical Framework Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Human Trafficking

Theoretical framework: Human trafficking

It is estimated that the majority of individuals who are illegally trafficked are females. This includes not simply workers in the sex industry, but employees in many other areas of employment in which trafficking commonly occurs, including domestic service and recruitment for sweatshop labor. Although the extent to which human trafficking occurs is difficult to estimate, conservatively most studies indicate that up to 80% of all persons who are trafficked are female (Loring 2007:1).

The predominately female population of the victims of human trafficking has caused many analysts to adopt a theoretical framework of feminism to analyze the phenomenon. A recent report on human trafficking advanced by the American Psychological Association from a feminist paradigm pointed out that given that "economic and social inequalities are among the leading contributing factors to human trafficking," women are often the most vulnerable groups to being exploited by traffickers (Report on trafficking of women and girls, 2011, APA). Women tend to earn less money than males, and have less available recourse to high-paying employment than males. They are often unable to resist the pressures imposed upon them my male parental or other figures and have few modes to resist pressures that cause them to take desperate actions because of a lack of education and family obligations (to other siblings, their own children, or to the elderly).

This is not to deny the fact that males can be exploited by traffickers. "Traffickers, at the same time, take advantage of the gendered perceptions of 'female skills:' They may target women and girls for prostitution or brides, while men and boys are more often exploited as farm laborers or trafficked for adoption," although women can also be co-opted into agricultural work (Report on trafficking of women and girls, 2011, APA). However, the types of labor into which women are most often conscripted (the sex trade, sweatshop labor, and domestic servitude) are often the least public forms of enslaved employment, which can make it far more difficult for their imprisonment to be detected by law enforcement. Women can also be more vulnerable to psychological tools of manipulation even in the rare instances when they do have contact with 'outsiders' while they are enslaved. It is estimated that 28% of trafficked women saw a health care professional while they were still in captivity and were still undetected (Dovydaitis 2011: 462).

Feminism helps to illuminate why women are predominantly the victims of trafficking, and also why women may feel helpless to resist their enslavement, even when given the opportunity to escape. It is a paradigm that stresses the gendered nature of social and economic inequalities. It also suggests that the solution to preventing trafficking is not merely better policing, although this is a component of ending the crime. Women must have equal access to education and economic opportunities in their home countries to be able to resist familial and social pressures that lead them to sell their bodies and their lives in such a manner that they can fall prey to the human slave trade. It also helps to show how the frightened…

Sources Used in Document:


Dovydaitis, Tiffany. (2011). Human trafficking: The role of the health care provider. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 55 (5): 462-467. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2009.12.017

Loring Jones, David W. Engstrom, Tricia Hilliard, Mariel Diaz. (2007). Globalization and human trafficking. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. Retrieved from

Report on trafficking of women and girls. (2011). American Psychological Association.


Cite This Essay:

"Theoretical Framework" (2012, January 12) Retrieved July 11, 2020, from

"Theoretical Framework" 12 January 2012. Web.11 July. 2020. <>

"Theoretical Framework", 12 January 2012, Accessed.11 July. 2020,