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Public Policy and Administration


Anne Hacker


Human trafficking is a global crime that violates the rights of people by holding them in captivity and coercing them into sexual slavery or strenuous labor. It has become a growing phenomenon on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with no signs of stopping. Using John Kingdon's work on multiple policy streams as the primary theoretical foundation, the purpose of this case study was to identify the perceived barriers to implementing existing Massachusetts's policies targeting human trafficking on Cape Cod as experienced by social service providers and law enforcement. Data were collected from 6 participants through e-mail interview. These data were inductively coded and analyzed using Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis procedure. Findings indicate that participants perceived the key barriers to full implementation of state policy to be a lack of training, difficulties in forming and maintaining partnerships, gaps in policy, and funding deficiencies. Participants also consistently noted that vulnerable populations supply the demand for human trafficking, and vulnerable populations are one of the reasons why human trafficking continues to exist. The implications for social change include recommendations to local government policy makers to focus on building coalitions between law enforcement and social service agencies to capitalize on opportunities to engage in proactive policy making to ameliorate the social impacts of human trafficking, including recovery services for victims.

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