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Human Trafficking: Healthcare and Globalization Aspects Essay

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Updated: May 26th, 2020


Two articles related to human trafficking are reviewed in this paper. The first article was on ‘Human Trafficking: Review of Educational Resources for Health Professionals’ by Elaine et al. (2013) and the second ‘Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?’ by Cho (2013). All the articles have adopted the APA style of citation in their reference lists.


The first articles’ main hypothesis is that most health care professionals are yet to consider human trafficking a health-related issue. Secondly, as a result of overlooking the issue, professionals in the health sector are ill-prepared to intervene. By reviewing available resources on human trafficking in the health sector, the study is based on qualitative analysis. It is meant to deeply explore how the issue of human trafficking and its impacts on the health sector may be addressed.

On the other hand, Cho (2013) suggests that globalization might have led to an increase in the degradation of human rights, especially that of women. As the main hypothesis, the author states that the legalization of prostitution has led to a steady increase in human trafficking. Secondly, the main victims of human trafficking today are women and young girls. The legalization of prostitution can, therefore, be said to have a scale effect on the trafficking of women.

Summary of Literature

The first study conducts a literature review on articles in the year 2011 and 2012 based on the handing of human trafficking by healthcare professionals. First, Elaine et al. (2013) establish the number of definitions of the word human trafficking as indicated by various scholars. They find that there are definitions based on legal, social, or human rights perspectives. The definition also covers the scope of human trafficking that should guide its study. Secondly, the literature review covers the impact of human trafficking on healthcare institutions and professionals. It looks at the different implications of human trafficking for health professionals that make it an important issue.

Third, the studies covered also indicate the best ways that health professionals may conduct victim identification. Identifying such victims is important for guiding the actions of the healthcare professionals and institutions, given that this is a sensitive matter according to most of the reviewed sources (Leong & Lau, 2001). Finally, the review by Elaine et al. (2013) also covers the appropriate intervention measures, including referrals, security, and legal issues that surround the handling of the victims of trafficking. Using past studies, the authors, therefore, highlight the significance of studying trafficking by healthcare professionals because, as identified, the issue presents health, legal, and social problem.

The studies cited in the review are mostly related to the sensitization of healthcare professionals on how to handle cases of trafficking victims hence their relevance. However, the review does not indicate the common health problems facing the victims of human trafficking.

On the other hand, for article two, the main studies used in the review offer a theoretical analysis of the effects of legalizing prostitution on human trafficking. The studies are based on the arguments for or against legalization as it relates to the impact on human trafficking. The author particularly uses articles that suggest that there is a substitution effect on the legalization of prostitution since trafficking to legalized residences may be more compared to illegal ones. However, other articles suggest that legalization actually reduces the rate of smuggling. Past studies have been used to indicate the negative impact on legalization, especially pointing out regions where trafficking rates have been higher.

There is, therefore, a high degree of relevance in the articles cited since they discuss the relationship sought by the study. This study is, therefore, helpful since it points out why women may fall victim if prostitution is to be legalized in some areas while others are not. However, since prostitution is two-way, the sources used do not account for an increase in smuggling for men as well.


Since the first study utilized published and scholarly sources on the topic of study, participants are not used. However, the resources used are obtained using a keyword search within a range of 2011 to 2012 as years of publication. The main methodology used has been the analysis and interpretation of the data gathered from secondary sources. A total of 27 published scholarly works are studied, and their content is presented to identify scope, format, and intended audience. The methodology described by the authors is quite simple since secondary data are the only sources of information deployed. The analysis and presentation of data are also straightforward because it is based on logical assessments and reasoning. As a result, the methodology used seems clear and understandable.

The second article is a quantitative study. Data from organizations like the UN, IOM, and UNODC on the numbers of trafficking victims across the globe are collected and analyzed. Since the study utilizes published data, there are no participants. However, data is sought from international organizations that deal with the issue of human trafficking and prostitution. The available data from the stated sources were collected and categorized into three. The three categories include country data, victim characteristics, and trafficking routes. Using the data obtained from the published reports, a scale of estimation is used to assign rates of migration in the different regions of the world.

The methodology is generally well outlined, from data sources to the analysis tools. However, the author does not indicate the criteria used for identifying (Tyldum & Brunovskis, 2005) the sources of data deployed in the study. It otherwise seems self-explanatory and uses tabular and graphical presentations to illustrate the techniques deployed.


The first study finds out that the development, implementation, and evaluation of quality programs for training health care professionals on the handling of human trafficking victims still lacks. Secondly, the scope of human trafficking has not been fully explored by many scholars in the sector. The result, according to the study, is that limited resources covering the issue have resulted. This is drawn from the literature analyzed that only a smaller scope of the issue.

The findings indicated to support the hypotheses identified in the study to the extent that they confirm that it may be actually true that the issue of human trafficking has not been seriously handled in the healthcare sector.

For the second article, the study finds that countries that have legalized prostitution, in fact, have heavy inflows of trafficking. However, with better policies to curb the vice, trafficking rates actually diminish. In addition, the rates of trafficking, regardless of legalization, have also been found to depend on the economic status of countries (Gozdziak & Collett, 2005). More inflows are experienced in developed countries more than underdeveloped ones.

As a result, the findings support the main hypothesis that trafficking is dependent on the legalization of prostitution, at least on the side of women. Sweden and Denmark, for instance, are two examples with different prostitution laws that illustrate this. The fact that Sweden has been stricter on prostitution has led to a decrease in human trafficking in the country as opposed to Denmark.


The availability of quality resources, training programs, and policies of handling victims of human trafficking makes up a large part of the discussions for the first study. Without proper knowledge facilitation in the health care sector, the authors contend that the plight of victims may be overlooked even in the health sector. This is despite the fact that such victims may first interact with healthcare institutions.

The authors are right to conclude that the handling of human trafficking victims in the health care sector should be improved. This is because, in the current situation, such victims are likely to be treated the same as other patients, yet they are special in the circumstances they operate in either legally or socially.

On the other hand, the second study finds that the human trafficking of women has been increased through the legalization of prostitution, mostly in developed nations. Different prostitution legalization regimes are, therefore, likely to affect rates of human trafficking. The study is based on figures presented by reputable bodies. The author’s interpretation is agreeable to the extent of the 150 countries used in the analysis. This is because women have been presented as likely victims of trafficking.


Study 1 deals with awareness issues concerning healthcare issues on trafficking. On the other hand, study 2 dwells on an interesting relationship between trafficking and legalization of prostitution. Both studies, however, are based on important policy recommendations. While study 1 pushes for quality training of healthcare professionals to help in intervention for victims of trafficking, the second study enlightens governments on the impact of legal regimes on rates of trafficking in their nations.


Cho, S. (2013). Does legalized prostitution increase human trafficking? World Development, 41(1), p67-82. Web.

Elaine, A et al., (2013). Human trafficking: review of educational resources for health professionals. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(3), p283-289. Web.

Gozdziak, E. M., & Collett, E. A. (2005). Research on human trafficking in North America: A review of literature. International Migration, 43(1‐2), 99-128. Web.

Leong, F. T. L., & Lau, A. S. L. (2001). Barriers to providing effective mental health services to Asian Americans. Mental Health Services Research, 3(4), 201-214. Web.

Tyldum, G., & Brunovskis, A. (2005). Describing the unobserved: Methodological challenges in empirical studies on human trafficking. International Migration, 43(1‐2), 17-34. Web.

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"Human Trafficking: Healthcare and Globalization Aspects." IvyPanda, 26 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/human-trafficking-healthcare-and-globalization-aspects/.

1. IvyPanda. "Human Trafficking: Healthcare and Globalization Aspects." May 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-trafficking-healthcare-and-globalization-aspects/.


IvyPanda. "Human Trafficking: Healthcare and Globalization Aspects." May 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-trafficking-healthcare-and-globalization-aspects/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Human Trafficking: Healthcare and Globalization Aspects." May 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-trafficking-healthcare-and-globalization-aspects/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Human Trafficking: Healthcare and Globalization Aspects'. 26 May.

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