Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


In this study I looked to examine the causes of sex trafficking in Sub-Saharan Africa. Pulling data from the World Bank, Human Development Reports, the U.S. Department of State, and international organizations like the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the International Justice Mission, I examined five potential causes – corruption, lack of information, economic inequality, gender discrimination, and, finally, culture, hypothesizing that gender discrimination and culture are the two factors most directly linked to the problem. I used correlations and a multiple linear regression model to show the relationships between the first four of my independent variables and the extent of sex trafficking in the region, using qualitative data from Nigeria and South Africa to bolster these relationships, fill in the gaps in the data, and examine culture. Essentially, I show that until there is more research conducted, we still cannot be sure as to what exactly causes sex trafficking; however, culture definitely aids in its perpetuation. Since there are huge holes in the data out there, I explain that sex trafficking needs to be studied more if this world is ever to see it on the decline.