New Plos Medicine systematic review on the mental health problems associated with human trafficking

Author: 
Siân, O., Stöckl, H., Busza, J., Howard, L., Zimmerman, C.
Publication date: 
29 May 2012
PloS Medicine has recently published a systematic review on the physical, mental, and sexual health problems associated with human trafficking. This paper suggests that trafficking is associated with serious health problems and that trafficked people are likely to require a coordinated response by healthcare providers and other support services. The reviewed studies found that women and girls who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation experienced high levels of physical and sexual violence. In addition, women and girls experienced high levels of physical, sexual and mental health problems: headaches, back pain, stomach pain and memory problems were common, as were anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Longer duration of exploitation may be linked to higher levels of mental distress.