Loughborough University
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Population geography I: Human trafficking

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-01-06, 14:14 authored by Darren SmithDarren Smith
This first report explores how understandings of human trafficking have progressed within population geography. Exemplified by studies of exploitative labour migration, population geography has made implicit contributions by stressing the value of a geographic perspec-tive of the webs of inter-connections and links between different places and trafficking. In addition, dominant ideas of linear trafficking processes have been disrupted, via evidenc-ing the informal involvement of families in the phases of recruitment, transportation, and control. I argue that a more encompassing, inter-disciplinary tenet could be woven into population studies of trafficking, by more explicitly engaging with social science debates. Embedding the legal, global definition of trafficking into wider studies of migration is para-mount for this direction of travel. There is also merit in population geography advancing understandings by adopting holistic lenses of enquiry, connecting-up with (sub-)disciplinary geographic studies of migration and trafficking in the Global South and Global North. Studies of trafficking provide a potentially fruitful terrain for population geography to deliver multi-disciplinary, impactful research of a key global challenge, to inform policies to prevent and mitigate the ills of trafficking, and progress conceptual and theoretical under-standings of trafficking.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Progress in Human Geography: an international review of geographical work in the social sciences and humanities


SMITH, D.P., 2017. Population geography I: Human trafficking. Progress in Human Geography, 42 (2), pp.297-308.


© The Authors. Published by SAGE Publications (UK and US)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Progress in Human Geography and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0309132516685196




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