Research and analysis

An evidence assessment of the routes of human trafficking into the UK

Document offering evidence to suggest that traffickers operate according to rational economic principles.



Occasional Paper 103 presents the findings from an evidence assessment designed to address three questions:

  • By what routes and methods of entry do victims of human trafficking reach the UK?
  • Are these routes the same for adults and child victims?
  • What are the economic dimensions (in terms of costs and benefits) of human trafficking into the UK?

Literature and electronic searches identified 180 studies as potentially relevant; key findings from the 32 studies that met the scope of this review are presented. Data are summarised with regards to the routes of human trafficking, the number of people trafficked, the characteristics of victims and traffickers, and the drivers, costs and benefits of human trafficking.

Both adult and child victims travel through multiple transit countries en route to the UK.