Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Criminal Justice and Criminology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jonathan Grubb


Human trafficking is a prevalent business, generating up to an estimated annual profit of $150 billion dollars globally (International Labour Organization [ILO], 2014). Although human trafficking is a global phenomenon, an element that has not received considerable empirical attention has been nuances between trafficking that occurs within a singular country (i.e., domestic trafficking) and that which occurs between multiple countries (i.e., international trafficking). The current study utilized cross-national data from the Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative’s (CTDC) Global Synthetic Dataset (GSD) to compare demographic profiles of victims trafficked domestically and internationally. Incorporating measures of gender, age, country of citizenship, country of exploitation, and type of exploitation, univariate results underscored that most victims were adults (57.3%), female (64.2%), sexually exploited (58.4%), and trafficked domestically (57.1%). Furthermore, bivariate results showcase important differences between victims trafficked domestically and internationally. For domestic trafficking, findings indicate that sex trafficking, especially of juveniles and females, was far more common than forced labor or other exploitive conditions. In contrast, international trafficking patterns underscored the opposite, whereby forced labor, especially of adults and males, was more common than sexual exploitation or other exploitive conditions. These findings lend support to previous research examining demographic and experiential patterns of trafficking victims. While limitations associated with the synthetic nature of the data exist, the current study can be expanded upon using country-level predictors tapping into social and economic conditions to more holistically address factors that drive domestic and international trafficking.