Exploitation of migrant workers and trafficking in human beings

A nexus of the demand by employers, workers, and consumers

Authored by: Natalia Ollus , Anniina Jokinen

Routledge Handbook of Human Trafficking

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138892064
eBook ISBN: 9781315709352
Adobe ISBN:


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Demand and supply are among the basic concepts of economics. In economic theory, the price of commodities is based on the relationship between demand and supply. An increase in demand results in an increase in the price of the commodity. These concepts are often used also in discussions on the causes of, and underlying factors affecting, human trafficking. It is argued that without the demand for the goods and services produced by victims of trafficking, there would be no market for trafficking, and no profit from trafficking. 1 However, the use of economic terminology is problematic when trafficking networks and flows remain poorly understood, and it is unclear how they mirror traditional economic exchanges. 2 The issue of demand and human trafficking is both complex and contested. This chapter looks at how the concept of demand evolved in the anti-trafficking framework. Second, it addresses how demand manifests itself in the context of labour exploitation and trafficking in Finland, and finally, how addressing demand could enhance the efforts to prevent labour trafficking.

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