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A Case Study of Human Trafficking: The Transnational Movement of Chinese Women for Sex Work

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $284,287)

The Rutgers University research team will work to examine a number of key questions related to the illicit movement of Chinese women to other Asian countries and the United States for work in the sex industry. Specifically, the team will (1) Examine the underlying reasons for the illicit movement of Chinese women for the purpose of prostitution; (2) Explore the structure or social organization of the movement of Chinese women; (3) Understand the methods of recruiting, transporting and managing Chinese women by various participants in the smuggling/trafficking and sex businesses; (4) Investigate the economic aspects of smuggling/trafficking and prostitution; (5) Examine the social adjustment and settlement patterns among Chinese sex workers and the victimization of these sex workers by smugglers/traffickers and sex industry operators; (6) Analyze the individual and group characteristics of smugglers/traffickers and their relationships with gangs and organized crime; and (7) Evaluate the problems and prospects of combating the movement of women from China to the rest of the world.

The study involves several research sites: Hong Kong/ Macau, Tokyo (Japan), Taipei (Taiwan), Bangkok (Thailand), Singapore, New York City, and Los Angeles. Approximately 315 face-to-face interviews with four categories of subjects at the research sites will be conducted. The subjects will include Chinese women working in the sex industry (N=140); sex industry operators (i.e., smugglers/traffickers, sex establishment owners, pimps, drivers) (N=70); legal authorities including law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and government officials (N=70); and representatives of victim services providers, NGOs, and advocacy groups (N=35). This research will greatly enhance understanding of human smuggling and trafficking by simultaneously tapping into all the players in the marketplace ' victims, smugglers/traffickers, employers, and legal authorities. Specific answers to such questions as: who are the victims, who are the smugglers/traffickers, how does the business operate, how is it organized, what is the role of organized crime, what are the push/pull and supply/demand pressures, and what is the role of corruption, etc., will clearly advance understanding of this phenomenon.

Date Created: September 17, 2006