Organised Crime and Human Trafficking

Subject CRIM90025 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

August, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 22-Aug-2015 to 20-Sep-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 28-Aug-2015
Census Date 11-Sep-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Oct-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject will be delivered intensivley from 9:00am-5:00pm on the 22, 23 August and 19, 20 September 2015.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Criminology or Political Science

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Professor Leslie Holmes

Subject Overview:

While organised crime has existed for centuries, it is only recently that the international community has begun to take it seriously as a transnational ‘soft’ (i.e. non-military) security issue. For example, the most frequently cited convention against transnational organised crime – that of the UN – dates only from 2000. Similarly, while drug and weapons trafficking has long been a concern of states and IOs (International Organisations), the focus on human trafficking essentially dates from the late-1990s. Human trafficking is now seen as the fastest growing form of trafficking and, along with cybercrime, the preferred form of criminal activity for an increasing number of criminal gangs and organisations. This subject will explore both the phenomena of transnational organised crime (TOC) and human trafficking, and the discourses surrounding them. The coverage will be international, but with an emphasis on Europe and South-east Asia. The subject will focus on trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation, but will also consider other forms of human trafficking.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Critically examine the definitional debates on both organised crime and trafficking;
  • Identify the main activities of contemporary (since WWII) organised crime – globally, but with a particular emphasis on both Europe/Asia and human trafficking;
  • Examine the various methods used to measure the scale of organised crime activity and human trafficking;
  • Elaborate and evaluate the main theories of the reasons for organised crime and its dynamism;
  • Consider the relative merits and weaknesses of the abolitionist and regulationist positions on human trafficking;
  • Study and assess the approaches of states, IOs, NGOs (non-government organisations) and other agencies to organised crime and trafficking.

2 x 500 word briefing papers (each worth 10%) due throughout the semester, a 3000 word research essay (60%) due in October, and a 1000 word briefing paper (20%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: As this is an Intensively-taught subject, seminar attendance is compulsory on all 4 days. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

There will be a Reading Pack made available.

Recommended Texts:

H. Abadinsky, Organised Crime (Wadsworth, 2013 – 10th ed.)

L. Shelley, Human Trafficking (Cambridge UP, 2010)

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

•Research: through competent use of the library and other information sources (inc. online), and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research.

•Critical Thinking and Analysis: through recommended reading, briefing and essay writing, and seminar discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.

•Thinking in Theoretical Terms: through seminar discussion, essay writing and engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences.

•Thinking Creatively: through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgements and arguments from conflicting evidence and by critical analysis.

•Understanding of Social, Ethical and Cultural Context: through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.

•Communicating Knowledge Intelligibly and Economically: through briefing and essay writing, and seminar discussion.

•Written Communication: through briefing and essay preparation and writing.

•Oral Presentation: through seminar discussion and informal class presentations.

•Time Management and Planning: through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.

•Group Work: through group discussions.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Criminology
100 Point Master of International Relations
150 Point Master of Criminology
150 point program - full time over 18 months
200 Point Master of Criminology
200 Point Master of International Relations
200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months

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