The cross-national market in human beings

Julia R. Pennington, A. Dwayne Ball, Ronald D. Hampton, Julia N. Soulakova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Human trafficking, as defined here, is moving human beings across borders for the purpose of enslaving them. Human trafficking may be in the sex trade, forced labor or service, extraction of body parts, or other forms of exploited labor or debt bondage. The market is believed to be extensive, with its own distribution channels, pricing systems, and other market functions. The purposes of this article are to present an understanding of cross-border human trafficking as a marketing system, to explicate the societal effects of that system, and to show how the extent of cross-border trafficking may be estimated, using as an example several countries where it is believed to be a substantial problem. Additionally, we seek to show that cross-border human trafficking may be a much more serious problem than what is visible to governments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Hidden populations
  • Human trafficking
  • Marketing system
  • Slavery
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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