Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. It is a form of modern-day slavery that profits from the exploitation of our most vulnerable populations. Victims are forced, defrauded, or coerced into trafficking.

In the context of social work, it is important for you to be knowledgeable about global human trafficking from both micro and macro practice perspectives. Since the social work profession is committed to poverty reduction, empowering vulnerable populations, and eliminating gender-based oppression, it is imperative to recognize that human trafficking encompasses issues that violate the principles of social justice and human dignity. The National Association of Social Workers promotes a professional mission of enhancing human well-being and devoting “particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty,” which largely represents the population of human trafficking victims.

As public awareness grows and more victims are identified, service providers such as social workers can work diligently to assist survivors. Social workers can help victims access health care treatment and legal assistance. Social work professionals, with a mandate of social justice, can also engage in prevention efforts, policy reform, and educational campaigns.

Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

  • Synthesize dynamics of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. (PO 3)
  • Explore injustice and oppression within the social environment at local and global levels. (PO 3)


  • Article: Human Trafficking: Overview
  • Website: Department of Homeland Security: What Is Human Trafficking?

Background Information

Victims of human trafficking are exploited for their labor or services and are typically forced to work in inhumane conditions. The majority of these victims are from marginalized populations throughout the world. Although both men and women are victims of human trafficking, women and children are heavily targeted. Many victims have been made vulnerable by poverty and conflict and social workers and other social service providers play a critical role in raising awareness of trafficking and aiding survivors. Combating human trafficking is particularly relevant to the profession of social work with its mission of social justice. By improving awareness and understanding of trafficking, social workers can identify potential victims and learn practical support options.

In this assignment, you will analyze human trafficking from various theoretical perspectives to gain a better understanding of why and how trafficking operates. You will also analyze ways in which social workers can work with victims and advocate to reduce and prevent trafficking.


  1. Read the article “Human Trafficking: Overview” from the Encyclopedia of Social Work at to learn about the implications for social work, education, and practice.
  2. Explore the web page “What Is Human Trafficking?” from the Department of Homeland Security website at
  3. Write a three-page paper responding to the following questions. Cite at least five sources to support your ideas. Use proper APA format for citations.
    1. Apply and incorporate systems theory, empowerment theory, and feminist theory to the human trafficking issue. How do these theories compare and contrast when applied to this issue?
    2. In your future role as a social worker, how can you use a multi-systemic approach of prevention, intervention, education, training, and advocacy to promote human rights?
  4. Review the rubric that your instructor will use to evaluate your work. Self-assess your assignment using the rubric and make improvements as needed to meet expectations and ensure that your work fulfills all the requirements. Turitin is used for this assignment.
  5. When you have completed your assignment, save a copy for yourself and submit a copy to your instructor using the Dropbox by the end of the workshop.

Click here to access the Dropbox.

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