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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Approaches to Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the U.S.

Project Description 

An ad hoc planning committee will hold a two-day public workshop on Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the United States. The workshop will bring together statisticians, survey methodologists, demographers and researchers who have studied this population, as well as public health and other experts who have experience with innovative data collection methods. The workshop will explore:

♦  Statistical methods successfully applied to estimating the prevalence of human trafficking in other countries, such as the UK and the Netherlands.
♦  Innovative methodologies applied to estimate the prevalence of human trafficking in specific areas of the U.S., including Texas, San Diego, and several major cities in the U.S.
♦  Sampling methods, including time location sampling and respondent driven sampling, which have been used to study other rare or hard-to-reach populations, such as homeless persons and people who use intravenous drugs.
♦  Definitional and measurement issues in estimating human trafficking through survey questions and administrative records systems.
♦  Methodological and ethical issues in attempting to estimate the prevalence of human trafficking in the U.S.

Workshop Date | April 8-9, 2019
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC
Room 120

April 8: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
April 9: 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Full agenda

Archived Webcast

Webcast Workshop Materials

Welcome and Introduction
Brian Harris-Kojetin, CNSTAT Director
Dorothy Fink, Director, Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Purpose of the Workshop
David Banks, Committee Chair; Duke University - Goals for the Workshop on Human Trafficking

The Prevalence Problem: Identifying Known Gaps and Discrepancies in Human Trafficking Estimation
Summarizing estimation challenges in current human trafficking work, and considering the impacts of data gaps on victims and communities.

Jessica HubleyAnnie Cannons - Prevalence Research in Service of Survivor Well-Being

Kelly DoreNational Human Trafficking Survivor Coalition - Intersection of Collaboration and Communication within the Anti-Trafficking Movement

Michaelle De CockInternational Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva - ILO Work on Measurement of Forced Labour: Challenges and Progress

Spotlight on Human Trafficking in the U.S. – A Discussion
Federal government efforts and opportunities to understand the prevalence and scope of human trafficking.
Carolyn HightowerDeputy Director, DHHS office of Trafficking in Persons

Meredith Dank, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Patrick Hannon, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center
Amy Leffler, National Institute of Justice

International Human Trafficking—Global Efforts and Comparative Prevalence Methodologies
Exploring how other countries collect, analyze, and apply human trafficking data—particularly places that are limited in ways similar to the U.S. in terms of data openness and accessibility.

Davina DurganaCommittee Member; Walk Free Foundation - Global Slavery Index, Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, and the Global MSE Program: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Lauren Damme and Carolyn HuangBureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor - Measuring and Addressing Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking around the World: U.S. Department of Labor’s Use of Research and Evaluation to Inform Policy

Bernard SilvermanCommittee Member; University of Nottingham (UK) - Prevalence Estimation for the U.K. Modern Slavery Strategy and for U.S. Cities

Approaches to Prevalence Estimation: Data Collection, Sampling, and Analytical Strategies
Considering the benefits to and feasibility of establishing “core measures” in an effort to standardize data collection for trend or comparative analysis across jurisdictions.

James Johndrow, Stanford University - Heterogeneity in Capture-Recapture

Kyle Vincent, independent consultant - Estimating Hard-to-Reach Populations with Network Sampling

Leveraging Knowledge: Coordinating Data across Disciplines
Identifying potential human trafficking victims by recognizing common risk factors using existing datasets or through screening for other services.
Harry Cook, International Organization for MigrationUsing Identified Victim of Trafficking Case Data
Hanni Stoklosa, Health, Education, Advocacy, and Linkage (HEAL) Trafficking, and Harvard Medical SchoolHealth Care: Opportunities and Challenges of Human Trafficking Data Collection
Kelly Gleason, UN University Centre for Policy Research and the ILONew Strategies and Initiatives to Bridge Data Gaps through Research and Government Partnerships

Intro and Recap of Day One
David Banks, Committee Chair; Duke University

Human Trafficking Estimation through a New Lens: Innovative Methodologies and Emerging Technologies
Showcasing creative methodologies that can be applied to estimate the prevalence of human trafficking in the U.S.

Megan Lundstrom, Free Our Girls - Approaches to Estimating Prevalence: The Survivor-Researcher Expertise

Michael Shively and Ryan Kling, Abt Associates - Advancing Human Trafficking Prevalence Estimation Methods: Key Findings from Development and Field Testing

Linking Prevalence to Policy – A Discussion
Creating opportunities to reduce the legal and policy barriers to the collection, sharing, and analysis of human trafficking data. Highlighting examples of successful policy and collaboration for sharing sensitive data in other fields.

Sheldon Zhang, Committee Member; University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Roy Ahn, Committee Member; NORC
Abby Long, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State - speech
Manisha Shah, UCLA
Annick Febrey, Human Trafficking Institute

Research Objectives and Next Steps
Synthesizing the key points from the days’ discussions. Considering ways to enhance interoperability, as well as communication between policymakers and practitioners. Discussing key actors and practical next steps.

David Banks, Committee Chair; Duke University


Staff Information

Jordyn White
, Study Director
Ellie Grimes, Senior Program Assistant



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Office on Women’s Health


NASEM Collaborator

Committee on Population


Committee Members
David Banks, Duke University

Roy Ahn, NORC at the University of Chicago

Katherine Chon, US Department of Health and Human Services

Davina Durgana, Walk Free Foundation

Megan Price, Human Rights Data Analysis Group

Sir Bernard Silverman, University of Nottingham

Sheldon Zhang, University of Massachusetts, Lowell



For more information, please contact:

Ellie Grimes 







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