Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

International Affairs

First Advisor

Douglas J. Snyder

Second Advisor

Dr. Lucy Chester

Third Advisor

Dr. Gregory Young

Abstract

The intersection of trafficking, forced labor, and refugees is well-cited in the international human rights community yet is rarely studied academically, especially in the Middle East. Given the massive Syrian refugee crisis that began in 2011, which increased the total global population of refugees to the largest total in history, it is more important than ever to study and better understand how refugees are vulnerable to trafficking and forced labor, particularly in impacted countries. The purpose of this research is to answer the question why refugees are vulnerable and how anti-trafficking and anti-forced labor initiatives can use vulnerability indicators as a tool of prevention. This thesis incorporates research from various academic disciplines to analyze potential vulnerability to labor exploitation of refugees in Jordan, one of the most impacted countries. I find that health, mobility, work status or income, demographics including age and gender, access to community, access to aide, and legal or registered status are significant indicators of vulnerability among refugees. An analysis of Jordanian government, IGO, and civil society prevention strategies provides context on how vulnerability indicators can be better implemented in these initiatives. I argue that this indicates Jordan is a good model for applying this prevention research. Borrowing from political science and international relations, I find that prevention occurs through levels of analysis including individual, group, state, and international approaches. A key conclusion of this thesis is the suggestion to separate prevention efforts into a distinct timeframe of direct and indirect prevention initiatives through these levels of analysis to better incorporate vulnerability indicators. I find that addressing vulnerability in these ways proves viable to prevent trafficking and forced labor of Syrian refugees in Jordan. This thesis thus demonstrates the importance of incorporating vulnerability indicators in prevention initiatives to dismantle the “greenhouse of human trafficking” that currently exists in the Middle East due to the Syrian refugee crisis.

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