Human Trafficking involves the various forms of coercion and force against millions of individuals all over the world into situations of unpaid labor, sexual exploitation, and organ sales. Attention to the phenomenon is relatively new and there is complexity both in how to address it and study it. When looking at human trafficking, issues of development, poverty, immigration, gender, international cooperation, social stigma, among others, are considered.

The purpose of this research paper is to compare and analyze local law interpretations of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, or just "the Palermo Protocol", in a sample of countries who have ratified the international agreement. The countries selected for analysis vary from each other in how they stand as dominant "origins" or "destinations" of human trafficking and how well they do in eradicating the problem as categorized by the United States Trafficking in Persons Report (US TIP Reports) "Tier" statuses. Through asking a set of questions of each law, trends are revealed. The study found that local law documents used many elements from the Palermo Protocol to frame their documents; there were fewer differences than expected. The major differences were in how laws were integrated into the existing legal framework or if a comprehensive separate act was defined. Implications and the role of morality politics and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are theorized.

Many studies in this field are laden with ever changing statistics, very specific case studies, or material that speaks to how the situation is stigmatized. All contribute to deeper understanding, but by objectively looking at how the major international mechanism works at a local level we may inch towards learning more about how the issue continues to pervade globally.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Powell, Jonathan


Mustain, Elizabeth


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences


Political Science

Degree Program

International and Global Studies



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date