International Studies (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Darin Van Tassell


Human trafficking is the third most profitable illegal international trade behind drug and arms trafficking. Sex trafficking is the second largest subset of this illegal enterprise and soon may equal or surpass labor trafficking as the prominent subset. This research aims to address four integral components of the sex trafficking and forced prostitution trade: (1) to show how sex trafficking in Thailand is being used perpetually to repress minority women and their communities; (2) to show how sex trafficking of minors (ranging in age from 8-17) in Atlanta, Georgia is shockingly similar to sex trafficking practices in Thailand; (3) to find the economic, political and cultural implications which foster the sex trafficking trade in both areas; and 4) to derive from these commonalities a solution to help mitigate and potentially eliminate these atrocities. The prevalence, severity and cruelty of forced prostitution are issues that the globalized world must address and attempt to solve because this practice infiltrates the culture, economics and politics of the countries it affects. If two locations as different as the U.S. and Thailand can show the same commonalities in terms of how and why women and girls are trafficked, then perhaps these same techniques are being used worldwide. By identifying the commonalities behind sex trafficking from the U.S. to Thailand, this paper aims to outline methods and techniques that can eventually lead to the elimination of this harmful practice.