Vogel: The Concept of Demand in the Context of Trafficking in Human Beings

Vogel: The Concept of Demand in the Context of Trafficking in Human Beings

Published in Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management this article is a re-working of DemandAT Working Paper 3This article rehearses economic understandings of demand and the key terms to which it relates: supply, price and market. A qualitative content analysis approach is used to develop a greater understanding of the ways in which the idea of demand (and related concepts) are deployed in discussions of trafficking as related to migration, prostitution and labor policy. The analysis reveals terminological ambiguities in the way the term 'demand' is currently used in anti-trafficking debates that hamper progress in generating understanding of the mechanisms that lead to criminal forms of exploitation. Vogel makes the case for greater specificity in using the term demand such that it applies only in a market context when it is possible to specify who wants to buy what and suggests that the phrases 'demand for trafficking' and 'demand for exploitation' be avoided.