Session: Human Trafficking Domestically and Globally: Improving Practice and Research to Aid Survivors (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

334 Human Trafficking Domestically and Globally: Improving Practice and Research to Aid Survivors

Sunday, January 15, 2023: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Paradise Valley, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Violence against Women and Children
Symposium Organizer:
Rachel Fusco, PhD, University of Georgia
Allison Dunnigan, PhD, University of Georgia
Human trafficking impacts an estimated 25 million children and adults globally (US State Department, 2020). Given the complexity of the issue it is imperative that policy makers, practitioner, advocates, and researchers are utilizing the best research and practice methods rooted in an evidence base. While the amount of research on human labor and sex trafficking continues to grow, much remains to be learned. This symposium aims to add to the knowledge base by examining best practices in research and practice both domestically and internationally. The first presentation by Schroeder used a multi-component community-based participatory research (CBPR) methodology to evaluate assessment tools used with survivors of child labor trafficking in Sierra Leone. The sequential process of archival case review in conjunction with CBPR was a positive model for partnership between social services and academic collaborators. Staff responded to the process with increased buy-in and new ideas for collecting data that serves the overarching goal of protecting survivors. The second presentation by Dodd involved in-depth interviews with students and staff at a law clinic that provides specialized legal services to victims/survivors of sexual exploitation. A phenomenological approach allowed participants to share their lived experiences of working with survivors and victims of exploitation, including the challenges of providing trauma-informed services in a context that is often deficit-focused. The third presentation by Afroz involves a systematic review of the quantitative methods utilized to study human trafficking globally. Following a review using the PRISMA framework, 18 articles were evaluated. Most studies used regression, and few utilized official data sources. The application of appropriate statistics can more accurately predict causal relationships among variables, improve interpretation of results, and increase generalizability. Human trafficking research could benefit from adopting sampling and recruitment methods used with other hidden and transient populations. Overall implications for research and practice will be discussed.
* noted as presenting author
Examination of Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Trauma-Informed Practice within an Exploitation Legal Clinic
Kasandra Dodd, MSW, University of Georgia; Hannah Armstrong, B.A., University of Georgia
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