Title

Human Trafficking Databases and Maps

Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography

Advisor(s)

Jamie Winders

Keywords

Anti-Trafficking Agencies, Database, Geography, Map, Peru, Trafficking

Subject Categories

Geography | Human Rights Law

Abstract

Despite the centrality of networks and the importance of place, space, scale, and scope in the phenomenon of human trafficking, geographers, as well as cartographers, have made little contribution to the study of human trafficking. Thus, to explore the extent to which geography is considered in the human trafficking field, this study examines human trafficking databases and maps. Through a document analysis of U.S. federal agency databases and popular geovisualizations, a survey of U.S.-based anti-trafficking agencies, and a case study of the national human trafficking database in Peru, three overarching themes emerge: (1) the human trafficking field does consider geographic information and geovisualizations, but it does so unevenly, creating information gaps in the field and making it difficult to identify standards and best practices, (2) spatial data and maps were intended and used to know where human trafficking exists, demonstrating that geography is seen as integral to how human trafficking is understood and combatted, and (3) there is an overall agreement that geographic data collection and mapping could be improved. This study, therefore, seeks to address the geographic silences that exist and answer the calls for the advancement of human trafficking research.

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