National Human Trafficking Initiatives: Dimensions of Policy Diffusion

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The implementation of criminal law involves formal law enforcement, education, and public outreach aimed at preventing criminal activity and providing services for victims. Historically, quantitative research on global trends has focused on a single policy dimension, potentially masking the unique factors that affect the diffusion of each policy dimension independently. Using an ordered-probit model to analyze new human trafficking policy data on national prosecution, prevention, and victim-protection efforts, we find that global ties and domestic interest groups matter more where international law is less defined. Although prosecution, mandated by the Trafficking Protocol, was relatively impervious to global ties and domestic interest groups, both trafficking prevention and victim protection were associated with these factors. Our findings also suggest that fear of repercussions is not a major driver of state actions to combat trafficking-neither ratification of the protocol nor levels of US aid were associated with greater implementation of antitrafficking measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-663
Number of pages33
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Bar Foundation.


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