Female offenders of human trafficking and sexual exploitation

Miriam Wijkman*, Edward Kleemans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Female offenders are seldom studied by criminological scholars. This is certainly the case regarding offenses like human trafficking and sexual exploitation. However, the number of women suspected of being a perpetrator of human trafficking should not be underestimated. In this paper we present the results of a study on female perpetrators of human trafficking. We have analyzed the court-files of 150 women who have been convicted for human trafficking. We present results on the prevalence of female offenders of human trafficking and the forms of exploitation they have been convicted for. After this we present the sanctions that were imposed on the women and the offender, offense and victim characteristics. This paper concludes by discussing implications for criminal justice authorities, policy and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


FundersFunder number
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


    • Commercial sexual exploitation
    • Female offenders
    • Human trafficking
    • Victimization


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