Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Accounting

Advisor

Leflar, Charles

Reader

Farmer, Amy

Abstract

This research compares the impacts of devastating natural disasters on levels of human trafficking in developed countries to the impacts experienced in third world countries. The two disasters selected for this study were Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana and the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Factors selected to measure the impacts of the natural disaster include income level, homelessness, and unemployment rates.

Human trafficking is a crime that touches nearly every country around the world. It is known that human trafficking levels are impacted by factors including poverty levels of regions, political unrest, and even natural disasters. There is a common misconception that human trafficking is an issue for developing countries and more developed countries, like the United States, are not as impacted by this industry. However, in the chaos following a natural disaster and the break down of government control, even developed countries can become susceptible to increases in human trafficking. Unfavorable changes in the economy, such as declining income levels, increases in homelessness, and higher unemployment rates, that occur in the aftermath of natural disasters attract human traffickers to target the vulnerable population of that region. This research will aim to compare, through statistical analysis, the changes in levels of human trafficking post-natural disaster in the United States to the levels experienced in Indonesia. This comparison will be done in an effort to find if the United States is just as susceptible to increases in human trafficking following natural disasters as third world countries.

Included in my research is a discussion of literature currently existing on the subject matter, the experimental design including the hypothesis and methodology used. This will be followed by an analysis of the results. A conclusion, discussion of the limitations of this study, as well as areas for future research will conclude this study.

Keywords

Human trafficking; natural disasters; Hurricane Isaac; Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami; child trafficking

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