Human Trafficking in East Africa: Victims, Perpetuators, and the Impact of the Setting

Research question/goal: 

Human trafficking (HT) is an under-researched area, particularly from a quantitative research perspective. In our project, we are studying HT by undertaking field work in Tanzania, East Africa, an environment in which sex trafficking and forced labour are prevalent dangers—particularly for women and children. The project consists of two phases. First, we applied established theories from criminology to generate evidence on the mechanisms of HTin a factorial survey experiment. For this purpose, we collected initial causal evidence on the antecedents that increase or decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim or a perpetrator, i.e. a henchman in the HT business, in two different vignette experiments in a lab-in-the-field survey experimental research design. We investigate the different causes of HT and their interaction, especially in relation to the setting. Combined with qualitative evidence, the results from this study will feed into the research design of the second phase of fieldwork in 2024. In this second part, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of an HT prevention intervention targeting bystanders, i.e. the capable guardians in the prestudy. The results will contribute to academic discussions on information provision and change through policy interventions and will have practical implications for the local community.

Fact sheet

2023 to 2026
in preparation
Data Sources: 
Field Research, RCT, original survey experiments
Geographic Space: 
Tanzania, East Africa