Representation of transnational human trafficking in present-day news media, true crime, and fiction

Principal Investigator

Dr Christiana Gregoriou

Research Institution

University of Leeds

Project Summary

The primary purpose of this research is to investigate the portrayal of transnational human trafficking in contemporary crime fiction, the genre of true crime, and news media, given that fictional and supposed factual representations, and media coverage, help shape public knowledge of such crime. This research will investigate how aligned such representations of trafficking are, whilst assuming that fictional and factual representations as well as wider media coverage can shape public perception and indeed inform offender/victim and law enforcement policy. Specifically, our research into human trafficking will consider the interrelated representations of victims, the investigation/policing/prevention of trafficking and the wider framing of public perceptions concerning transnational governance and global justice.


This research will benefit researchers and organisations seeking to gain a greater comprehension of human trafficking and its representation in a rapidly changing national and global political climate. We contribute to heightening the awareness of the role cultural, media and literary representations play in constructing but also challenging and thereby changing perceptions of human trafficking and crime, and, in turn, impacting on policing matters and social policy. The emergent research findings will be disseminated through an essay collection, a policy brief, a public blog and twitter feed, as well as a symposium/ outreach activities, thus contributing to wider academic knowledge and public dialogue surrounding the investigation, policing and prevention of human trafficking as well as support for its victims.

Contact Information

For further information, please email Dr Gregoriou at