Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Francis Goldman


Human sex trafficking is a significant issue in the modern world. The International Labor Organization has estimated that 4.5 million people are the victims of forced commercial sexual exploitation worldwide. The United States' laws on human sex trafficking can be found in 22 U.S.C. -§7104 Prevention of Trafficking, and promulgate the strategy of prevention of trafficking, protection of trafficking victims, and punishment of traffickers. Under the terms of 22 U.S.C. -§7104, federal contractors can be penalized if any of their employees or subcontractor employees engage in a commercial sex act. The reliance on the private sector to curb sex trafficking through federal contracts is a nuance, and there is a gap in the literature regarding the Congressional rationale for creating a federal contract policy that places federal contractors in the position of being liable for the off-duty activities of their employees. This research question focused on understanding this shift in usage of federal contract policy to influence individual behavior expressed in this Act. A content analysis of documents was performed which relied on official U.S. government documentation, including transcripts of Congressional hearings. The findings indicate that the legislation was a tactical response to a pair of scandals involving U.S. personnel overseas, combined with a belief in money as a motivating force, international political factors, and moral certainty among elected officials that the Federal Government had to 'do something.' Positive social change was addressed in the process of this study by providing greater insight into the legislative thought process regarding federal procurement related statutes, and by providing future reformers with additional information regarding effective legislative strategies.

Included in

Public Policy Commons