Because human trafficking is a public health issue
Literature on the health care needs of trafficking victims, tools for identifying trafficked persons, and the role of physicians in fighting trafficking continues to grow. Here, we gather up-to-date peer-reviewed literature from Pub Med and highlight articles that have advanced anti-trafficking efforts among health professionals. For more resources, please navigate to our Research Committee page.
Also, RSS feeds from PubMed are available here, which includes up-to-date lists of medical literature from the PubMed library on trafficking.
White Paper: Preventing Human Trafficking Using Data-driven, Community-based Strategies, an outcome of the Congressional Briefing, “Preventing Human Trafficking: Research on How to Stop Trafficking Before It Starts” November 2, 2017. Raising awareness alone is not sufficient to prevent human trafficking. Coordinated, community-based
Examining Commonly Reported Sex Trafficking Indicators From Practitioners’ Perspectives: Findings From a Pilot Study Lara B. Gerassi, PhD, LCSW, Andrea J. Nichols, PhD, Ashley Cox, MA, Kei K. Goldberg, Cliff Tang.
Deckert, J. C., Warren, S., & Britton, H. (2018). Midwestern Service Provider Narratives of Migrant Experiences: Legibility, Vulnerability, and Exploitation in Human Trafficking. Advances in Social Work, 18(3), 887-910.
Le, P. D., Ryan, N., Rosenstock, Y., & Goldmann, E. (2018). Health issues associated with commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children in the United States: a systematic review. Behavioral medicine, 44(3), 219-233.
Gerassi, L. B. (2017). Barriers to accessing detox facilities, substance use treatment, and residential services among women impacted by commercial sexual exploitation & trafficking. Behavioral medicine.
Cook, M. C., Barnert, E., Ijadi-Maghsoodi, R., Ports, K., & Bath, E. (2018). Exploring mental health and substance use treatment needs of commercially sexually exploited youth participating in a specialty juvenile court. Behavioral Medicine, (just-accepted), 00-00.
Okech, D., Hansen, N., Howard, W., Anarfi, J. K., & Burns, A. C. (2018). Social support, dysfunctional coping, and community reintegration as predictors of PTSD among human trafficking survivors. Behavioral medicine, 44(3), 209-218.
Pocock, N. S., Nguyen, L. H., Lucero-Prisno III, D. E., Zimmerman, C., & Oram, S. (2018). Occupational, physical, sexual and mental health and violence among migrant and trafficked commercial fishers and seafarers from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): systematic review. Global
Greenbaum, V. J., Titchen, K., Walker-Descartes, I., Feifer, A., Rood, C. J., & Fong, H. F. (2018). Multi-level prevention of human trafficking: the role of health care professionals. Preventive medicine.
Stanford, K., Cappetta, A., Ahn, R., & Macias-Konstantopoulos, W. (2018). Sex and labor trafficking in Paraguay: risk factors, needs assessment, and the role of the health care system. Journal of interpersonal violence, 0886260518788364.
Bick, D., Howard, L. M., Oram, S., & Zimmerman, C. (2017). Maternity care for trafficked women: Survivor experiences and clinicians’ perspectives in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. PLoS one, 12(11), e0187856.
Ottisova, L., Smith, P., Shetty, H., Stahl, D., Downs, J., & Oram, S. (2018). Psychological consequences of child trafficking: An historical cohort study of trafficked children in contact with secondary mental health services. PLoS one, 13(3), e0192321.
Pocock, N. S., Tadee, R., Tharawan, K., Rongrongmuang, W., Dickson, B., Suos, S., … & Zimmerman, C. (2018). “Because if we talk about health issues first, it is easier to talk about human trafficking”; findings from a mixed methods study
Gordon, M., Salami, T., Coverdale, J., & Nguyen, P. T. (2018). Psychiatry’s Role in the Management of Human Trafficking Victims: An Integrated Care Approach. Journal of Psychiatric Practice®, 24(2), 79-86.
Bouché, V., Farrell, A., & Wittmer‐Wolfe, D. E. Challenging the Dominant Frame: The Moderating Impact of Exposure and Knowledge on Perceptions of Sex Trafficking Victimization. Social Science Quarterly.
Rothman, E. F., Farrell, A., Bright, K., & Paruk, J. (2018). Ethical and Practical Considerations for Collecting Research-Related Data from Commercially Sexually Exploited Children. Behavioral Medicine, 44(3), 250-258.
Salami, T., Gordon, M., Coverdale, J., & Nguyen, P. T. (2018). What therapies are favored in the treatment of the psychological sequelae of trauma in human trafficking victims?. Journal of Psychiatric Practice®, 24(2), 87-96.
Steiner, J. J., Kynn, J., Stylianou, A. M., & Postmus, J. L. (2018). Providing services to trafficking survivors: Understanding practices across the globe. Journal of evidence-informed social work, 15(2), 151-169.
Corbett, A. (2018). The voices of survivors: An exploration of the contributing factors that assisted with exiting from commercial sexual exploitation in childhood. Children and youth services review, 85, 91-98.
Ijadi-Maghsoodi, R., Bath, E., Cook, M., Textor, L., & Barnert, E. (2018). Commercially sexually exploited youths’ health care experiences, barriers, and recommendations: A qualitative analysis. Child abuse & neglect, 76, 334-341.
Reid, J. A. (2012). Exploratory review of route-specific, gendered, and age-graded dynamics of exploitation: Applying life course theory to victimization in sex trafficking in North America. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17(3), 257-271.
Shafer, A., & Looney, B. (2018). Victim Profiles: Direct and Indirect Effects of Anecdotes and Responsibility Attribution on Support for Sex Trafficking Victims. Journal of Human Trafficking, 4(1), 21-34.
Middleton, J. S., Gattis, M. N., Frey, L. M., & Roe-Sepowitz, D. (2018). Youth experiences survey (YES): Exploring the scope and complexity of sex trafficking in a sample of youth experiencing homelessness. Journal of Social Service Research, 44(2), 141-157.
Ghafoori, B., & Taylor, R. (2017). Age-Related Differences in Trauma Experiences, Mental-Health Needs, and Mental-Health-Service Use in Victims of Human Trafficking: A Pilot Investigation of Transition-Aged Youth Compared to Older Adults. Journal of Human Trafficking, 3(4), 259-270.
Jones, S., King, J., & Edwards, N. (2018). Human-trafficking prevention is not “sexy”: Impact of the rescue industry on Thailand NGO programs and the need for a human rights approach. Journal of Human Trafficking, 4(3), 231-255.
Countryman-Roswurm, K., & Patton Brackin, B. (2017). Awareness without re-exploitation: Empowering approaches to sharing the message about human trafficking. Journal of Human Trafficking, 3(4), 327-334.
Barron, C. E., Moore, J. L., Baird, G. L., & Goldberg, A. P. (2017). Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the Medical Setting: A Survey of the Knowledge, Discomfort, and Training of Pediatric Attending Physicians. Journal of Human Trafficking, 1-12.
Goldberg, A. P., Moore, J. L., Houck, C., Kaplan, D. M., & Barron, C. E. (2017). Domestic minor sex trafficking patients: A retrospective analysis of medical presentation. Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology, 30(1), 109-115.
Cole, J. (2018). Service Providers’ Perspectives on Sex Trafficking of Male Minors: Comparing Background and Trafficking Situations of Male and Female Victims. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1-11.
Hopper, E. K., Azar, N., Bhattacharyya, S., Malebranche, D. A., & Brennan, K. E. (2018). STARS experiential group intervention: a complex trauma treatment approach for survivors of human trafficking. Journal of evidence-informed social work, 15(2), 215-241.
Zimmerman, C., Michau, L., Hossain, M., Kiss, L., Borland, R., & Watts, C. (2016). Rigged or rigorous? Partnerships for research and evaluation of complex social problems: lessons from the field of violence against women and girls. Journal of public health policy, 37(1),
Fraley, H. E., & Aronowitz, T. (2017). The Peace and Power Conceptual Model: An Assessment Guide for School Nurses Regarding Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. Nursing science quarterly, 30(4), 317-323.
Barnert, E., Iqbal, Z., Bruce, J., Anoshiravani, A., Kolhatkar, G., & Greenbaum, J. (2017). Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children and adolescents: a narrative review. Academic pediatrics, 17(8), 825-829.
Ravi, A., Pfeiffer, M. R., Rosner, Z., & Shea, J. A. (2017). Identifying health experiences of domestically sex-trafficked women in the USA: a qualitative study in Rikers Island jail. Journal of Urban Health, 94(3), 408-416.
Dell, N. A., Maynard, B. R., Born, K. R., Wagner, E., Atkins, B., & House, W. (2017). Helping Survivors of Human Trafficking: A Systematic Review of Exit and Postexit Interventions. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838017692553.
Nguyen, P. T., Lamkin, J., Coverdale, J. H., Scott, S., Li, K., & Gordon, M. R. (2017). Identifying human trafficking victims on a psychiatry inpatient service: a case series. Psychiatric quarterly, 1-8.
Ravi, A., Pfeiffer, M.R., Rosner, Z. et al. (2017). Identifying health experiences of domestically sex-trafficked women in the USA: A qualitative study in Rikers Island Jail. Journal of Urban Health. DOI:10.1007/s11524-016-0128-8
Raney, R. F. (2017). Unseen victims of sex trafficking: While most people think of women and girls as the victims of human trafficking, men and boys are also at risk. American Psychological Association, 48(4).
Maculan, B., Lozzi, E., & Rothman, E. F. (2017). Mixed-gender shelter-based service for child survivors of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) in Italy: A case study. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(3).
Contreras, P. M., Kallivayalil, D., & Herman, J. L. (2017). Psychotherapy in the aftermath of human trafficking: Working through the consequences of psychological coercion. Women & Therapy, 40, 1-2, 31-54. doi: 10.1080/02703149.2016.1205908
McAlpine, A., Hossain, M., & Zimmerman, C. (2016). Sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in settings affected by armed conflicts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East: Systematic review. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 16(34). DOI 10.1186/s12914-016-0107-x
Pocock, N., Kiss, L., Oram, S., & Zimmerman, C. (2016). Labour trafficking among men and boys in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Exploitation, violence, occupational health risks and injuries. PLoS ONE, 11(12), e0168500. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168500
Cosgrove, C. Increasing awareness about human trafficking: Education for frontline healthcare providers. (2016). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 198. http://jdc.jefferson.edu/mphcapstone_presentation/198
Doherty, S., Oram, S., Siriwardhana, C., & Abas, M. (2016). Suitability of measurements used to assess mental health outcomes in men and women trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation: A systematic review. Lancet Psychiatry, 3(5), 464-71.
Borschmann, R., Oram, S., Kinner, S. A., Dutta, R., Zimmerman, C., & Howard, L. M. (2016). Self-Harm among adult victims of human trafficking who accessed secondary mental health services in England. Psychiatric Services.
George, E., McNaughton, D., & Tsourtos, G. (2016). An interpretive analysis of Australia’s approach to human trafficking and its focus on criminal justice over public health. Journal of Human Trafficking. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23322705.2016.1153367
Ronda-Perez, E., & La Parra, D. (2016). Eradicating human trafficking: a social and public health policy priority. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 25(4), 347-348. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045796016000238
Stoklosa, H., Dawson, M. B., Williams-Oni, F., & Rothman, E. (2016). A review of U.S. health care institution protocols for the identification and treatment of victims of human trafficking. Journal of Human Trafficking, 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23322705.2016.1187965
Barnert, E. S., Abrams, S., Azzi, V. F., Ryan, G., Brook, R., & Chung, P. J. (2016). Identifying best practices for “Safe Harbor” legislation to protect child sex trafficking victims: Decriminalization alone is not sufficient. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51,
Gorman, K. W., & Hatkevich, B. A. (2016). The Issue is—Role of occupational therapy in combating human trafficking. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70, 7006360010. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.016782
Stoklosa, H., Showalter, E., Melnick, A., & Rothman, E. (2016). Health care providers’ experience with a protocol for the identification, treatment, and referral of human trafficking victims. Journal of Human Trafficking, 1-11. DOI: 10.1080/23322705.2016.1194668.
Westwood, J., Howard, L.M., Stanley, S., Zimmerman, C., Gerada, C., & Oram, S. (2016). Access to, and experiences of, healthcare services by trafficked people: Findings from a mixed-methods study in England. British Journal of General Practice, 66(652), e794-e801.
Chisolm-Straker, M., Baldwin, S., Gaigbe-Togbe, B., Ndukwe, N., Johnson, P. N., & Richardson, L. D. (2016). Health care and human trafficking: We are seeing the unseen. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 27(3), 1220-1233. DOI: 10.1353/hpu.2016.0131
Gibbons, P., & Stoklosa, H. (2016). Identification and treatment of human trafficking victims in the emergency department: A case report. Journal of Emergency Medicine, 50(5), 715-719. DOI: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2016.01.004
Oram, S., Abas, M., Bick, D., Boyle, A., French, R., Jakobowitz, S., Khondoker, M., Stanley, N. Trevillion, K., Howard, L., & Zimmerman, C. (2016). Human trafficking and health: A survey of male and female survivors in England. American Journal of
Shandro, J., Chisolm-Straker, M., Duber, H. C., Findlay, S. L., Munoz, J., Schmitz, G., Stanzer, M., Stoklosa, H., Wiener, D. E., & Wingkun, N. (2016). Human trafficking: A guide to identification and approach for the emergency physician. Annals of
Hemmings, S., Jakobwitz, S., Abas, M., Bick, D., Howard, L. M., Stanley, N., Zimmerman, C., & Oram, S. (2016). Responding to the health needs of survivors of human trafficking: A systematic review. BMC Health Services Research, 16(320).
Ottisova, L., Hemmings, S., Howard, L. M., Zimmerman, C., & Oram, S. (2016). Prevalence and risk of violence and the mental, physical and sexual health problems associated with human trafficking: An updated systematic review. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 1-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S2045796016000135
Willis, B., Vines, D., Bubar, S., & Suchard, M. R. (2016). The health of children whose mothers are trafficked or in sex work in the U.S.: An exploratory study. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 11(2), 127-135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450128.2016.1189019
Domoney, J., Howard, L. M., Abas, M., Broadbent, M., & Oram, S. (2015). Mental health service responses to human trafficking: A qualitative study of professionals’ experiences of providing care. BMC Psychiatry, 15(289), 1-9.
Burke, M., McCauley, H. L., Rackow, A., Orsini, B., Simunovic, B., & Miller, E. (2015). Implementing a Coordinated Care Model for Sex Trafficked Minors in Smaller Cities. Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk, 6(1),
“Characteristics of child commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking victims presenting for medical care in the United States.” Varma, Selina et al. The International Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect. 44: 98-105. April 2015.
“Health care providers and human trafficking: what do they know, what do they need to know? Findings from the Middle East, the Caribbean and Central America.” Viergever, Roderik F., West, Haley; Borland, Rosilyne; and Zimmerman, Cathy. Frontiers in Public Health.
“The Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the Boston Metropolitan Area: Experiences and Challenges Faced by Front-Line Providers and Other Stakeholders.” Macias-Konstantopoulos W, Munroe D, Purcell G, Tester K, Burke TF, Ahn R. Journal of Applied
“Health of men, women, and children in post-trafficking services in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam: an observational cross-sectional study.” Kiss, L, Pocock, N, Naisanguansri, V, Suos, S, Dickson, B, Thuy, D, Koehler, J, Sirisup, K, Pongrungsee, N, Nguyen, VA, Borland, R,
“Using a Clinic-based Screening Tool for Primary Care Providers to Identify Commercially Sexually Exploited Children.” Chang, K, Lee, K, Park T, Sy, E, Quach, T. Journal of Applied Research on Children, 6 (1). 2015.
Coverdale, J., Beresin, E. V., Louie, A. K., Balon, R., & Roberts, L. W. (2015). Human trafficking and psychiatric education: A call to action. Academic Psychiatry, 40(1), 119-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40596-015-0462-2
Oram, S., Khondoker, M., Abas, M., Broadbent, M., & Howard, L. M. (2015). Characteristics of trafficked adults and children with severe mental illness: A historical cohort study. Lancet Psychiatry, 2(12), 1084-1091. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00290-4
“Psychological Coercion in Human Trafficking: An Application of Biderman’s Framework.” Baldwin, Susan B., Fehrenbacher, Anne E. , Eisenman, David P. Qual. Health. Res. 1-11. Published Online 4 November 2014.
“The public health crisis of child sex abuse in low and middle income countries: An integrative review of the literature.” Veenema TG, Thornton CP, Corley A. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 52 (4): 864-881. 2014.
“Educating Health Care Professionals on Human Trafficking.” Grace AM, Lippert S, Collins K, Pineda N, Tolani A, Walker R, Jeong M, Trounce MB, Graham-Lamberts C, Bersamin M, Martinez J, Dotzler J, Vanek J, Storfer-Isser A, Chamberlain LJ, Horwitz SM. Pediatric
“Associations of sex trafficking history with recent sexual risk among HIV-infected FSWs in India.” Silverman JG, Saggurti N, Cheng DM, Decker MR, Coleman SM, Bridden C, Pardeshi M, Dasgupta A, Samet JH, Raj A. AIDS and Behavior, Volume 18, Issue
“Labour Exploitation and Health: A Case Series of Men and Women Seeking Post-Trafficking Services.” Turner-Moss, E., Zimmerman, C., Howard, L.M., Oram, S. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Volume 16, Issue 3, 473-480. 2014.
Bespalova, N., Morgan, J., & Coverdale, J. (2014). A pathway to freedom: An evaluation of screening tools for the identification of trafficking victims. Academic Psychiatry, 40(1), 124-128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40596-014-0245-1
“Human Trafficking: Review of Educational Resources for Health Professionals.” Ahn, R., Alpert, E. J., Purcell, G., Konstantopoulos, W. M., McGahan, A., Cafferty, E., Eckardt, M., Conn, K. L., Cappetta, K., Burke, T. F. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Volume 44.
“An International Comparative Public Health Analysis of Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Eight Cities: Achieving A More Effective Health Sector Response.” Konstantopoulos, M. W., Ahn, R., Alpert, E. J., Cafferty E., McGahan, A., Williams, T. P., Castor, J.
“Risk Factors for Mental Disorders in Women Survivors of Human Trafficking: A Historical Cohort Study.” Abas, M., Ostrovschi, N. V., Prince, M., Gorceag, V. I., Trigub, C., Oram, S. BMC Psychiatry, Volume 13, Issue 204. 2013.
“Physical health symptoms reported by trafficked women receiving post-trafficking support in Moldova: Prevalence, severity and associated factors.” Oram S, Ostrovschi NV, Gorceag VI, Hotineanu MA, Gorceag L, Trigub C, Abas M. BMC Women’s Health. Volume 26, Issue 12, 20. 2012.
“Health Care Providers’ Training Needs Related to Human Trafficking: Maximizing the Opportunity to Effectively Screen and Intervene,” Isaac, Reena; Solak, Jennifer; and Giardino, Angelo P. Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 2: Iss.
“Human Trafficking: What is the Role of the Health Care Provider?” Crane, Patricia A. and Moreno, Melissa. Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 7. 2011.
“Prevalence and Risk of Violence and the Physical, Mental, and Sexual Health Problems Associated with Human Trafficking: Systematic Review.” Oram, S., Stockl H., Busza, J., Howard, L. M., Zimmerman, C. PLOS Medicine, Volume 9, Issue 5, 1001224. 2012.
“History of sex trafficking, recent experiences of violence, and HIV vulnerability among female sex workers in coastal Andhra Pradesh, India.” Gupta, J., Reed, E., Kershaw, T., Blankenship, K.M. Int. J. Gynaecol. Obstet.114(2):101–5. 2011.
“Sex trafficking and initiation-related violence, alcohol use, and HIV risk among HIV-infected female sex workers in Mumbai, India. ” Silverman JG, Raj A, Cheng DM, Decker MR, Coleman S, Bridden C, Pardeshi M, Saggurti N, Samet JH. Journal of Infectious
“The Relationship of Trauma to Mental Disorders Among Trafficked and Sexually Exploited Girls and Women.” Hossain, M., Zimmerman, C., Abas, M., Light, M., Watts, C. American Journal of Public Health, Volume 100, Issue 12, 2442-2449. 2010.
“Sex trafficking and health care in metro Manila: identifying social determinants to inform an effective health system response.” Williams TP, Alpert EJ, Ahn R, Cafferty E, Konstantopoulos WM, Wolferstan N, JP Castor, McGahan AM, Burke TF. Health and Human
“Trafficking experiences and violence victimization of sex-trafficked young women in Cambodia.” McCauley HL, Decker MR, Silverman JG. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Volume 110, Issue 3, 266-7. 2010.
“Trafficking in women: Conceptualizing and measuring health risks and consequences.” Zimmerman, C. Dissertation for PhD in Health Policy Unit. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: London.(2004).
“The health of trafficked women: A survey of women entering post-trafficking services in Europe.” Zimmerman C, Hossain M, Yun K, Gajdadziev V, Guzun N, Tchomorova M, et al. American Journal of Public Health, Volume 98, 55-59. 2008.
“Stolen Smiles: The Physical & Psychological Health Consequences of Women and Adolescents Trafficked in Europe.” Zimmerman, C., Hossain, M., Yun, K., Roche, B., Morison, L., Watts, C. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2006.
“Tuberculosis and HIV: A global menace exacerbated via sex trafficking.” Dharmadhikari AS, Gupta J, Decker MR, Raj A, Silverman JG. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 13, 543-546. 2009.