Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type





This research examines the United States response to domestic human and sex trafficking using an intersectional framework with an emphasis on human rights. This thesis seeks to add to the existing literature that consists primarily of radical and post-colonial feminist perspective by incorporating the different theoretical framework of Patricia Hill Collins’s matrix of domination paradigm. My theoretical proposition asserts that improving preventative efforts and creating more inclusive solutions requires collaboration with activist and advocacy organizations that focus on human rights and transformative activism. Sex worker rights coalitions will be highlighted as an example of how rights-based movements could prove to be valuable in the combatting of trafficking in persons. This thesis consist of qualitative research of field interviews with two anti-trafficking organizations and one sex worker rights coalition, as well as an analysis of policy implementation and historical construction of trafficking. The shared experiences and statements from the interviewees and the application of an intersectional framework supported my proposition on the need for more collaboration that is not government or radical-centered. My findings include a need for advocacy that is not “top-down” but that is created and led by marginalized communities that are vulnerable to human trafficking and human rights abuses.