Reconfiguring the 3P’s of Human Trafficking on an Ordinal Scale: Implications for Trafficking Misery Index Computation


Vernon Murray, PhD | September 21 | 9:00-10:00 AM

Topic: Research | Knowledge Level: Advanced

Cho et al.’s 3P’s, and the TIP report, indicate national efforts at opposing human trafficking. However, they do not indicate the severity of the problem. Two ways to measure trafficking severity are: 1) number of victims, and 2) the degree of victim suffering. This presentation focuses on the latter. Based on Weitzer’s (2014) note that trafficking situations “range from highly coercive…to…mutually beneficial,” and Murray, Dingman, Porter and Otte’s (2015) categorization of trafficking experiences as “voluntary,” “semi-voluntary,” and “involuntary,” the research team computed a “Trafficking Misery Score” (“TMS”) per nation (Source: 2015-2017 Univ. of Nebraska Trafficking Conference). TMS is based on the Murray et al. (2015) weighted 3 x 3 matrix. Next, the research team computed a “Trafficking Intervention Score” (“TIS”) per nation, based on the 3P’s scores. Finally, they combined the two measures to create a “Trafficking Misery Index” (“TMI”) by nation. It quantifies suffering (TMS), and compares it with intervention (TIS), where: TMI = TMS – TIS. Cho et al. assume all 3P’s are equally important. However, the researchers reconceptualized prevention as the most important “p,” and weighted it with a “3.” Protection is weighted with a “2,” assuming it is better to treat a victim than to prosecute a trafficker (and assuming prosecution is not preventive). Prosecution is weighted with a “1” on this ordinal scale. The weighted 3P’s scores reduced intervention scores. Ninety percent of nations (N = 188) saw reductions, while 10% saw increases (compared with using unweighted 3P’s; Source: UNODC). Weighting the 3P’s yields a more robust index.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Define “Trafficking Misery Index” (TMI) and its component parts.

·  Explain how to compute TMI and its component parts by using UNODC data.

·  Explain why a weighted 3P’s score should be used in TMI computation.

·  Explain why TMI is a better indicator than TIP and 3P’s scores.

·  Display TMI scores for a dozen nations, including the U.S

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