Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Steven Roach, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Holly Matthew Dunn, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Beatriz Padilla, Ph.D.


Decolonization, Modern-Day Slavery, Postcolonialism, West Africa


Every year, governments and globally acclaimed international organizations alike develop policies, sanctions and other control mechanisms in terms of prevention, protection and prosecution in an attempt to abate the current human trafficking problem which appears to be worsening by the year. This thesis will explore the relationship of colonial legacies to the current human trafficking dilemma, assessing the impact of post-colonial cultural and structural practices that continue to persist and proliferate the movement of human beings across borders and facilitates their sub-human treatment. By analyzing the underlying elements that have caused the current international system to operate and be structured the way it is today, this thesis hopes to fill a gap in the academic conversation in regards to cultural narratives, the lag between legislation and effective implementation and demand, as well as the role played by religious and ethnic groups outside of the typical Western lens in facilitating and understanding human trafficking.