Traffickers: Who Are They?

  • Nancy M. Sidun


This chapter provides an overview of traffickers and highlights their diversity by exploring the transnational nature of traffickers, their roles and responsibilities, the benefits of and justification for trafficking, and lastly, the unique position of women as traffickers. There are many phases in the process of human trafficking, and traffickers perform diverse roles within these phases, from recruitment to transportation, to training, and to exploitation of trafficking victims. How these functions are managed varies greatly, ranging from a single individual performing all roles in the trafficking process to multiple people providing a specific role within a network of associates, including loosely organized to well-established transnational organized crime syndicates. Human traffickers do not have a recognized profile; a trafficker can be of either gender, varied ages, marital status, socioeconomic status, education, professions, and experiences and either related or unrelated to the victims. Research does suggest that the most effective recruiters are those that can and have established trusting relationships with potential victims and are of the same ethnic group of the person(s) they intend to traffic. While research on traffickers is in its infancy, we do know that traffickers are extremely diverse and are not a population that can easily be defined. Traffickers’ demographics and methods differ greatly; however, vast financial gain is consistently the motivation for all types of traffickers coupled with the willingness to exploit individuals for personal financial gain.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy M. Sidun
    • 1
  1. 1.HonoluluUSA

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