Human Trafficking Research Collaborative
SeraphimGlobal’s goal is to end the guessing game around the root causes and prevalence of human trafficking or people that are enslaved. The types of exploitation experienced by the most vulnerable are changing and it is critical to reimagine boundaries around who we envision as modern slaves or those suffering from forced labor and forced sex. The value of research and science is to inform interventions, and to predict vulnerable parties. We need to uncover the scope, scale, and patterns of trafficking that will allow us to create policies, promote values, and take action. The Human Trafficking Research Collaborative (HTRC) has been designed as a virtual think tank that identifies the types and numbers of enslaved persons, including broader applications of related exploited populations. The HTRC also conducts studies on various areas of human exploitation and abuses that involve minors in violent extremism. The HTRC focuses on investigating the intersections between human rights abuses among all vulnerable populations, particularly from public health and political violence and insecurity.
The HVDT is an award-winning set of statistical models that estimates vulnerability to human trafficking among specific populations in the United States. In 2016, the HVDT warranted recognition by the American Statistical Association (ASA) for its integral role in Statistical Advocacy in the United States. SeraphimGLOBAL has successfully conducted a pilot case with the HVDT with partners in Tennessee to help profile and better understand the vulnerable populations that are most affected by human trafficking within specific contexts. The HVDT provides baseline metrics for non-profits to better monitor and evaluate human trafficking trends as they occur. With better information on vulnerability profiles for targeted populations within the United States, law enforcement and non-profits are better equipped to proactively identify and protect our most vulnerable persons from human traffickers.
The HTRC benefits from exclusive use of the Human Vulnerability Diagnostic Tool (HVDT) to drive policies, values, and action while partnering with field offices in Lebanon and El Salvador as well as with many valuable academic partners. There has been much criticism and speculation about the reliability of statistics in human trafficking. In our adherence to the best standards in scientific research, we are committed to transparency and analysis of available data in the best interest of protecting vulnerable groups. We are identifying vulnerabilities for the purposes of identifying policies that will improve quality of care, law enforcement surveillance, and many other elements of intervention and proactive identification.
The HVDT reduces the significant amount of guesswork and subjectivity currently informing interventions in the anti-human trafficking field. With this empirical analysis, service providers and policymakers are better able to deliver impactful and important services. When applied to the data held by service providers such as End Slavery Tennessee, the HVDT can analyze the empirical trends in vulnerability that are occurring within their service delivery area and the possibly predictive vulnerability traits that result in human trafficking. When applied to the data analyzed by advocacy groups such as the International Association of Women Judges, the HVDT can help to analyze the co-occurring patterns in applications for child marriage, which may help judges to identify suspicious applications for additional scrutiny. Additionally, the HDVT can be used to analyze existing secondary datasets held by the government and other partners as well as to test and replicate existing conclusions and studies. The HVDT’s specific focus on public health and political insecurity sets our approach apart from all other approaches in the anti-trafficking space and incorporates the best practices in monitoring and evaluation, statistical analysis, and scientific research. The HVDT also benefits from a robust and active advisory panel comprised of industry and academic leaders lending their expertise and input to the success of the HVDT applications.
When implementing the HVDT, there are several steps that the HTRC will follow. First, we will establish criteria for our involvement and
- Evaluate capacity of the organization and then offer to provide necessary training to increase capacity,
- Conduct a preliminary analysis of feasibility regarding data management, procedure, and human subjects protections.
- Begin data transition and quality assurance process, which continues throughout engagement (integrating monitoring and evaluation throughout the process).
- Meet with expert staff to conduct vulnerability assessment for testable traits/conditions, and 5. Early analysis shared with team for initial feedback. This will help us to pursue our mission of informing actionable political and social change in the anti-trafficking field.