Date of Graduation

Fall 12-14-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Cecília Santos


This study analyzes the Trafficking in Persons report, an annual report from the United States State Department that ranks each country on its ability to meet “minimum standards” for combating human trafficking. Using Colombia as a case study, this paper heavily critiques the traditional human trafficking discourse by applying a transnational intersectional feminist framework to explore the context and development of human trafficking in Colombia. I will first look at the legal framework for anti-trafficking policy in Colombia with a policy analysis of the laws and legislation that arose after the ratification of the Palermo Protocol in 2000. The strengths and weaknesses of these policies will be looked at through the lens of activists and government workers in Colombia. Next I will analyze the trajectory of US international human trafficking policy by looking at the contestations that went into US domestic legislation, followed by a closer examination of the inception, function, and evolution of the Trafficking in Persons report. Finally, I will use a transnational intersectional feminist framework to critique the Trafficking in Persons report and cover key trends that correlate with wider global issues. Based on the data collected and building on a critical feminist perspective on the anti- trafficking discourse, this study argues that the Trafficking in Persons report is a cog in the traditional anti-trafficking discourse which uses the guise of aid to perpetuate global inequality.