The Scope and Magnitude of Human Trafficking Business
In order to understand the magnitude and scope of human trafficking, one should consider the participants and their business operations.
Human trafficking is a business that is done in small and large-scale setups (FATF, 2011). The small-scale participants operate within one county, often in the recruiting or transit nations. Their job is to help a small number of their victims across one or two borders. In most cases, they deal with other small-scale participants in neighboring countries or regions. However, they do not operate as single business entities. In all cases, they eventually sell their recruits to large-scale participants. In some situations, they confine their operations within one country, often acting as intermediaries between the victims and the final beneficiaries.
The large-scale human trafficking groups are highly organized like real businesses. They operate in systematic networks in different parts of the globe. They distribute labor and responsibilities in order to maximize profit and respond quickly to changes in the business environment. Crackdowns by law enforcement agents disrupt their operations and transform market dynamics. In some regions, they face competition from other human trafficking groups. Their networks act as supply or distribution chains of the victims from the catchment areas to their final destinations. These large-scale trafficking organizations often differ in structure. Most of them comprise of four or five major levels with different roles. They include investors, recruiters, transporters, guides, and debt collectors. However, they all fall into three categories: the master traffickers, secondary traffickers, and grassroots intelligence gatherers. Sometimes the participants play multiple roles, thus reducing the levels of command within the trafficking groups (UN.GIFT, 2008).
The investors are the people who own and supervise the entire