Adapting to survive: facilitating recovery after human trafficking

Viergever, Rf; (2016) Adapting to survive: facilitating recovery after human trafficking. PhD thesis, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. DOI:

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Human trafficking is a crime that can result in both acute and chronic physical and mental health problems for victims. Additionally, victims are often faced with various social challenges. In recent years, many countries have recognized victims of human trafficking as a target population for their social and health services. In the Netherlands, the number of victims of human trafficking that seek shelter has more than doubled in the last decade and 3% of placements in shelters for victims of violence are now for victims of human trafficking. Despite the increasing relevance of victims of human trafficking for the Dutch social and health services, there is a dearth of evidence on how to best facilitate recovery for this population, both in the Netherlands and internationally. This thesis makes a contribution to redressing this knowledge deficit and explores the Dutch post-trafficking social and health services from the viewpoints of service users and service providers. By analysing their experiences with post-trafficking service provision and by building on theories of both service needs and system development, the thesis provides insight into these services from different empirical and theoretical perspectives. Its findings are based on data collected from interviews, observations, literature reviews and documentary analyses, mainly making use of qualitative methods of analysis. The thesis is situated in the field of social and health services research and makes two main contributions to this field. First, it advances insight into how recovery is conceptualized and experienced by victims themselves. Second, it provides lessons about how that recovery can be best facilitated by countries’ social and health services. Finally, the thesis also contributes to the qualitative research methods literature by reflecting on the challenges that were encountered in interviewing victims of human trafficking.

Item Type: Thesis
Thesis Type: Doctoral
Thesis Name: PhD
Contributors: Durand, Ma (Thesis advisor);
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Funders: VSBfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlansch Fonds, Stichting Studiefonds KETEL 1, Buwalda Stichting
Copyright Holders: Roderik Floris Viergever


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