INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE WAKE OF NATURAL DISASTERS A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the impacts of Natural Disasters on the level of Human Trafficking
Sammanfattning: The form of modern-day slavery of human trafficking has been increasingly seen as a serious risk associated with environmental problems. The number of trafficked women and children wereseen as a reporting trend in the context of natural disasters, and is estimated to increase asdisasters will be more severe and frequent in the near future. A number of studies have emphasized the correlation between natural disasters and human trafficking and have revealed inconsistent results. In view of this ambiguity, certain state factors have been considered to be vital in understanding human trafficking where insights from these studies reveal that institutional quality may play a key role in the natural disaster-human trafficking nexus. However, the concept of Quality of Government (QoG) has been overlooked regarding this issue, which is generally referred to “trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted, and competent government institutions”. Thus, based on the developed theoretical framework, this thesis proposes that countries with low QoG have higher levels of human trafficking outflows in the aftermath of natural disasters. Given that no perfect indicator captures the broad concept of QoG, this thesis considers four different aspects of QoG in order to capture different dimensions of institutional quality in relation to the disaster-trafficking nexus. Furthermore, due to the lack of good quality data of human trafficking, this thesis focuses on trafficking cases that capture trafficking flows, rather than actual numbers of trafficked victims. By conducting a cross-sectional analysis, I test whether QoG moderates the relationship between natural disasters and human trafficking outflows across the world during the period 1996-2000. The results provide support for the theory that natural disasters are positively associated with human trafficking outflows. However, the results did not reveal any moderating effect of QoG on the relationship between natural disasters and human trafficking. This further implies that natural disasters and institutional quality have significant impact on human trafficking outflows independently. My findings remain robust across robustness checks.
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