nl en

Human Trafficking




Admissions requirements



Human trafficking – 21st century slavery – has been identified in more than 180 countries around the world. Much has been documented concerning the exploitation of women and children in the sex industry, but little attention has been given to labor exploitation in other industries or to other forms of human trafficking such as the exploitation of child soldiers, mail order brides or persons for the purpose of harvesting their organs.

This course will examine the definition of human trafficking and study a number of legal instruments (Conventions, Protocols and laws) to come to a full understanding of how human trafficking is defined. A discussion turns to what we actually know about human trafficking – how we measure the problem, why it is so difficult to determine just how many persons are being trafficked, and whether a person is a trafficked victim. The course explores the different perspectives from which we can examine trafficking – as a criminal justice and organized crime problem, but also from the perspective of supply and demand, human rights, immigration, development, poverty and gender inequality.
We will examine which persons are more likely to fall prey to traffickers and how the trafficking experience impacts their lives, health and safety. Further study will focus on the traffickers – who they are and what is known about their modus operandi, how they recruit, transport and exploit their victims, but also how they protect their operations.
Global patterns of trafficking and new forms of trafficking will be discussed. We will discuss organ trafficking and the use of child soldiers, and examine whether or not child pornography, child sex tourism, mail order brides and illegal adoptions are forms of trafficking.
The course ends with a discussion of organizations that are active in the fight against human trafficking and what measures – from prevention, victim protection, prosecution and partnerships – are necessary to eradicate human trafficking.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will have gained:

1) an understanding of the phenomenon of human trafficking: how this differs from human smuggling and the implications it has for trafficked victims;
2) knowledge of methods and techniques to determine the extent of human trafficking and why it is so difficult to accurately measure the phenomenon;
3) an understanding of perspectives to explain human trafficking;
4) insight into patterns of trafficking, those who fall prey to traffickers and the markets in which they are exploited in different countries and regions of the world;
5) knowledge of the process of trafficking and those who recruit, transfer and exploit trafficked persons – from individual traffickers to networks and organized criminal enterprises;
6) a deeper understanding of less common forms of human trafficking;
7) insight into strategies to prevent human trafficking and aid trafficked victims.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course is organized in a seminar format. Lectures will be based on the assigned readings but also draw upon the research and personal experiences of the instructor. All students are expected to have read the assigned material prior to class and to actively participate in class discussions. Students will give a presentation, either individually or in a group, depending upon the topic being presented.
Students may want to do in-depth research on the topic of human trafficking in their home country, or may elect to focus on a specific topic such as organ trafficking. Students will be graded individually when presenting in a group.


Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions. We will watch 4 documentaries. Students will write assignments on the documentary films. Students will give an oral presentation and take a final exam at the end of the class.

  • In-class participation – 10% – (Ongoing Weeks 1 – 7)

  • Written assignments on documentary films – 30% – (Ongoing Weeks 1 – 7)

  • Presentation – 20% – Weeks 4-7

  • Final Exam – 40% – Week 8


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Alexis A. Aronowitz


Students should have read the following assignments to be prepared for the first day of class:

Aronowitz: Human Trafficking, Human Misery, Chapter 1
United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime