Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 473–480 | Cite as

Labour Exploitation and Health: A Case Series of Men and Women Seeking Post-Trafficking Services

  • Eleanor Turner-Moss
  • Cathy Zimmerman
  • Louise M. Howard
  • Siân Oram
Original Paper


Research on the health of trafficked men and on the health problems associated with trafficking for labor exploitation are extremely limited. This study analysed data from a case series of anonymised case records of a consecutive sample of 35 men and women who had been trafficked for labor exploitation in the UK and who were receiving support from a non-governmental service between June 2009 and July 2010. Over three-quarters of our sample was male (77 %) and two-thirds aged between 18 and 35 years (mean 32.9 years, SD 10.2). Forty percent reported experiencing physical violence while they were trafficked. Eighty-one percent (25/31) reported one or more physical health symptoms. Fifty-seven percent (17/30) reported one or more post-traumatic stress symptoms. A substantial proportion of men and women who are trafficked for labor exploitation may experience violence and abuse, and have physical and mental health symptoms. People who have been trafficked for forced labor need access to medical assessment and treatment.


Human trafficking Forced labor Violence Trauma 



We would like to acknowledge and thank the men and women survivors of human trafficking that participated in the study. We would also like to thank Dr. Mike Emberson, Charlotte Kirkwood and the staff of Migrant Help. Louise M. Howard, Siân Oram, and Cathy Zimmerman are all supported by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (115/0006). Louise M Howard is also supported by the NIHR South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Biomedical Research Centre-Mental Health. This report is independent research commissioned and funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (Optimising Identification, Referral and Care of Trafficked People within the NHS 115/0006). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Department of Health. The funder had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the report. The corresponding author had full access to all the data in the study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleanor Turner-Moss
    • 1
  • Cathy Zimmerman
    • 2
  • Louise M. Howard
    • 3
  • Siân Oram
    • 3
  1. 1.Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen MaryUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department for Global Health and DevelopmentLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.Section for Women’s Mental Health, Institute of PsychiatryKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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