Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Reader/Committee Chair

Gisela Bichler


International human trafficking (IHT) is a type of criminal activity that involves groups and individuals who facilitate the global movement and exploitation of people, often by illegal means. Estimates show that, worldwide, there are over 25 million victims of human trafficking at any given time; however, estimates are prone to under and overcounting. Focusing on the Americas, this study compared the quality of two data sources that could be used to observe IHT. Country-to-country IHT networks generated from 9 years of researcher compiled governmental and non-governmental data (2008-2017) was compared with networks generated from data downloaded from the United Nations Offices of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC). Analyzing the data quality over time, on three characteristics (completeness, variable positional importance, and realism) this investigation showed that original source compilation produces more complete and realistic networks when compared to UNODC data.