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Potential Connection between the Trafficking of Women on the Darknet and the Financing of Terrorism

An Examination of a Potential Connection between the Trafficking of Women on the Darknet and the Financing of Terrorism


Human trafficking constitutes a key component of the terrorist strategy to subjugate and enslave vulnerable populations, promote ideology and increase the recruitment of activists. In addition, human trafficking can be an attractive source of revenue. Although human trafficking is not a primary source of revenue for terrorists, especially in comparison to other, more profitable sources of financing such as natural resources, taxation and extortion, it is an opportunistic source of financing.

The issue of human trafficking is not new, but in recent years the phenomenon has been on the rise. International bodies write reports discussing the phenomenon from various perspectives. For example, the US State Department ranked the countries of the world in terms of their ability to cope with the phenomenon. The UN Security Council expressed de 1 ep concern at the persistence of human trafficking and at the high number of women and children exposed to trafficking in areas of armed conflict, and it called upon countries to improve implementation of their legal obligations to incriminate, prevent and eradicate the phenomenon of human trafficking and to increase their efforts to investigate, disrupt and dismantle human trafficking networks in those areas.2 In
Resolution 2331,3 the Security Council instructed the CTED to identify and examine the connection between human trafficking, terrorism and terrorism financing.4 The CTED also participated in a joint project with the FATF, in the framework of which they prepared a typology of the cash flow from human trafficking.5

The documents and studies that seek to examine the phenomenon do not approach it from the angle of terrorism financing, whereas this study points to a possible link between the trafficking of women on the one hand and terrorism financing on the other hand; in particular, on the platform through which criminal transactions are conducted — the darknet.



This article is part of the RED-Alert project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon                                 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement No 740688.

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