Examining the Effect of Domestic Legislation on Human Trafficking in the Northern Triangle




Oscarson, Emmalyn

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This thesis examines the effectiveness of domestic legislation in addressing human trafficking in the Northern Triangle composed of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Through a comparative analysis of the legal frameworks and their implementation in the three countries, this study seeks to identify the gaps and challenges in the legal system that allow for human trafficking to persist. To better understand the domestic legal efforts, this thesis examined international, regional and United States legal framework of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Furthermore, data was gathered from U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Reports between the years 2011 to 2021. The statistics evaluated for each country were human trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions, rate of convictions, and rate of prosecutions. The analysis shows varying correlations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as governments do not report all statistics for every reporting year. For instance, the ratio of convictions could not be obtained for Guatemala for three years because the government did not report the data. Each country made legislative progress; however, there is insufficient statistical evidence to support the effectiveness of the laws. Human trafficking is a complex issue with various factors and influences. The findings are expected to contribute to the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of domestic legislation in addressing human trafficking in Central America and provide recommendations for strengthening the legal framework and enhancing its implementation.