Overview: Trafficking and Demand

Overview: Trafficking and Demand

Demand in Theory and Demand in Practice

The initial research phases on the DemandAT project explores the concept of ‘demand’ of trafficking in human beings and develops an understanding of the policies and practices linked to the demand-side. 

To this end conceptual research into demand at the University of Bremen works to a fuller understanding of this concept in the context of trafficking. The approach is two-fold combining history and economics. Researchers trace how an understanding of ‘demand’ has developed genealogically. They also draw on economics to better understand the concept of demand within that discipline before analysing how it is used in the literature and debates on trafficking. 

DemandAT research also included mapping the debates surrounding the factors driving the demand-side of trafficking and debates on efforts and policies that seek to influence the demand side. The mapping work has a broad focus encompassing many fields of trafficking in human beings that are sometimes overlooked.  Therefore, alongside mapping of demand in trafficking for labour exploitation and the commercial sex sector, researchers studied debates on demand-side factors and policies in the context of begging, forced/servile marriage, organ removal and in trafficking for the purposes of criminal activities. This mapping work informs the project research of demand and demand-side policies across the broad spectrum of activities in which trafficking takes place.

DemandAT research also seeks to gain a greater understanding of how policy interventions may best be structured to influence the demand-side of trafficking in human beings. To this end DemandAT research mapped out policy responses to demand in the context of trafficking across selected EU and non-EU countries.  Further DemandAT work on policy interventions investigated other policy areas where governments also sought to steer demand for harmful or illegal goods and services. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh investigated policies for steering demand in the context of irregular employment, illegal drugs and tobacco.


The result of these various strands of research has been a series of reports including: