Date of Graduation

Fall 12-14-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

Kathleen Kelly Janus


Poland is a source, destination, and transit country for human trafficking. The country is taking steps to address this crime, but it offers very little benefits to the victims. Currently, the victims are only allowed to stay temporarily in Poland if they testify against their traffickers. During their cooperation with the prosecution they rarely receive legal representation or psychological help. This thesis posed the question of whether Polish laws and the Polish system further victimize female victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. The research was conducted in Poland between May and July of 2012. The first part of the research consisted of interviews with 16 employees of two organizations, Fundacja La Strada and the Halina Niec Legal Aid Centre, which are the major organizations in Poland working on human trafficking issues. The participants were asked about their beliefs about what the victims should be entitled to and about their perception of how the laws and the system treat the victims. The second stage of the research was based on the evaluation of files provided by La Strada, which contained information on the victims who came under the patronage of the organization. Data analyses revealed that the victims are mistreated in many different ways, which allows one to draw a conclusion that they are further victimized in Poland. Future studies should expand the sample size to include other groups of individuals who come into contact with the victims, such as the Border Patrol officials and police officers.