Trafficking in Human Beings in Time and Space: A Socio-Ecological Perspective
What makes a person, whether man, woman or child (more) vulnerable to human trafficking or any other crime? What makes some places more propitious to the occurrence of certain criminal phenomena ?
This paper argues that these questions can be considered within a socio-ecological model of vulnerability where the Geographical Information Systems are used as relevant tools to put crimes and its actors in a temporal and spatial context.
Applying a geographic-determined knowledge to the study of THB vulnerability will allow the detection of profiles based on socio-ecological indicators, that is to say, profiles arise from the nexus between the individual social and symbolic interactions (perpetrators, victims, and witnesses) and their ecological environment.
Vulnerability to crime and to THB in particular (criminogenic conditions) is hard to observe and although crime statistics can be viewed as an attempt to measure it (Brunsdon et al. 1995), it is necessary to build it by integrating/crossing other types of data and levels of observation. The Socio-ecological approach as well as Geographic Information System is multi-level in its nature, allowing a broad conceptual and methodological pathway to explore the modelling of vulnerabilities.
Identifying THB patterns will help to develop models of vulnerable areas and groups, either at origin, where recruitment occurs, or at destination, where exploitation is already taking place. This information is essential to assist all relevant actors in the planning of intervention measures based on knowledge at different but interconnected levels: operational, tactical, investigative and strategic policing, crime reduction and victims support.