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Law Soc Inq. 2015 Summer;40(3):631-663. Epub 2015 Mar 4.

National Human Trafficking Initiatives: Dimensions of Policy Diffusion.

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Soongsil University, Seoul, South Korea.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.


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 tended to focus 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 in areas where international law is less defined. While prosecution, officially 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 Trafficking Protocol nor levels of United States aid were associated with greater implementation of anti-trafficking measures.

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