• William F. McDonald
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)


The literature on the criminal victimization of immigrants is less voluminous than that about immigrants as criminals; yet, it leaves no doubt that immigrants everywhere suffer a broad array of physical, financial and psychological injuries. Immigrants are victims of every kind of crime: murder, rape, robbery, assault, theft, fraud, and scams. They suffer at a higher rate of victimization than natives for major crimes. Their victimizers are usually other immigrants, co-ethnics who live similar life styles in the same communities. Several theories of criminal victimization fit well with these facts. Both routine activities theory and life-style theory explain the pattern of immigrants victimizing other immigrants. Immigrant enclaves may protect them from inter-group victimization (often hate crime) but not so much from intra-group victimization (the dominant pattern). The campaign to establish a global prohibition regime against human trafficking is not having substantial success because of the nature of the problem it is addressing. A fundamental problem with regard to the anti-sex-trafficking part of the campaign is that many countries permit legal prostitution.


Opportunity theories Human trafficking Enclaves 

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William F. McDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyGeorgetown UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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