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Symposium #2


News on the recent flows of migrants and refugees in Europe, the wave of unaccompanied minors on the US Mexico border, the apparent transformation of human smuggling and trafficking networks, and the evidence pertaining to market diversification in organized crime all raise concerns over the ability of researchers to provide answers and of law enforcement to contain and counteract the activities of criminal groups of transnational reach.

This seminar is a three-part conversation on global migration trends, human smuggling operations, and the data pertaining to criminal organizations venturing into new markets – will explore the current conditions that at the global level are impacting or shaping human mobility, to then report on the evidence that researchers have identified as connected to human smuggling and trafficking, and finally analyze what the data say about transnational criminal trends. The seminar will consist on three short lectures followed by Q&A sessions with attendees, where we will compare, contrast and supplement data available on criminal trends along borders, and migration and anthropological and sociological research on people, crime and capital flows.  


Gabriella Sanchez, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Security Studies at The University of Texas El Paso's National Security Studies Institute.

gabriella sanchez

Dr. Gabriella E. Sanchez (Ph.D., Arizona State University) is a faculty member of the National Security Studies Institute at the University of Texas El Paso. She specializes in the study of the social organization of transnational criminal groups. Her work has primarily examined human smuggling and trafficking operators, their interactions with other criminal organizations, their potential for market diversification, and their decision making processes.   She has been assistant professor at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, research fellow at Monash University’s Border Crossing Observatory in Melbourne, Australia, visiting lecturer at Wellesley College, Fulbright Scholar at the Criminology Department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Maryland's Consortium for the Study of Terrorism (START).  Dr. Sanchez is also a US State Department Boren National Security Fellow.  A socio-cultural anthropologist by training, Dr. Sanchez has completed extensive ethnographic research in smuggling and trafficking hubs in over 20 countries. A former criminal investigator, she also has extensive experience as a consultant for US federal and state agencies and global NGOs.



Sheldon Zhang, Ph.D. - Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University

sheldon zhang

Sheldon X. Zhang is Professor of the Sociology at San Diego State University. He has been conducting funded research on transnational human trafficking and smuggling activities for more than a decade. He has published two books on human smuggling/trafficking activities: Chinese Human Smuggling Organizations—Families, Social Networks, and Cultural Imperatives (Stanford University Press, 2008) and Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: All Roads Lead to America (Praeger, 2007). His research has also led to numerous publications in journals as Criminology, British Journal of Criminology, Crime, Law and Social Change, and Global Crime. His current research on human trafficking focuses developing and testing measurement instruments and sampling strategies to produce prevalence estimates of the human trafficking problems for U.S. agencies such as the National Institute of Justice (U.S. DOJ), and United Nations agencies such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) and International Organization on Migration (IOM). Zhang has led multiple federal and state funded projects studying issues ranging from human trafficking to evaluations of various community reentry programs. 

Download POWERPOINT(s) 1 and 2


Research In Brief
After-Action Report

Watch Symposium Webcast
   Intro and Section I: Global Migration Trends and Irregular Migration
   Section II: Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking
   Section III: Migration, Borders, Crime  


Connect With Us

The Center for Law and Human Behavior
Prospect Hall, Room 208
The University of Texas at El Paso
500 W. University Avenue
El Paso, TX 79968-0553
(915) 747-5920