New Report: Landmark Survey Reveals Devastating Physical and Mental Consequences of Human Trafficking

A new report from the International Organization for Migration and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine documents the staggering effect of human trafficking on victims’ physical and mental health. The report, the largest study of its kind, compiled data from 1,100 interviews with trafficking victims in Southeast Asia. Nearly half of the interviewees were subjected to physical or sexual abuse while they were trafficked, including extreme forms of violence such as burning, rape and strangulation. Women and girls trafficked for marriage, factory work or domestic work suffered the most severe mental health problems. Trafficked brides experienced the “worst violence.” Most trafficking victims lived and worked in hazardous and brutal conditions.

One of the study's lead authors, Dr. Ligia Kiss, said, “[o]ur findings highlight that survivors of trafficking urgently need access to health care to address a range of needs, and that mental health care should be an essential component of this." 

The full report is available from The Lancet Global Health.


Compiled from: First comprehensive study of trafficked men, women and children reveals severity of abuse and complex health issuesLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine News (February 18, 2015); Whiting, Alex, From fishing to sex work, trafficked people badly abused, major study findsThomson Reuters Foundation (February 18, 2015).