Expert Consensus Definition of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Australia

Zoe L. Knorre*, Bruce D. Watt, Katarina Fritzon, Ashley Phelan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Domestic minor sex trafficking is often thought of as a crime that happens somewhere else (outside of Australia), with most conceptualizations involving a child who is internationally trafficked. The lack of a clear definition of domestic minor trafficking is a challenge often cited in the literature. In response, the current research explored an operational definition of domestic minor sex trafficking, using a Delphi methodology. A commonly held view of Australians is that Australia is impervious to trafficking, despite numerous cases of exploitation appearing to fit the international and Australian legal definition of trafficking (identified in legal databases and media reports). The Delphi method is an iterative survey method developed by the Rand Corporation in the 1950s. In the current study, a panel of 14 experts participated in three rounds of online surveys to reach a consensus definition of domestic minor sex trafficking within Australia. Ten themes were identified and used to develop the operational definition. The results will be used as a basis to examine prevalence of domestic trafficking and the characteristics of those who domestically traffic children, in addition to examining clarity and effectiveness of the current legislation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Human Trafficking
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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