Anti-human Trafficking Service Professionals in India: Challenges and Barriers to Service Provision

Claire E. Helpingstine, Dionne P. Stephens, Purnima Madhivanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sex trafficking (ST) interventions in India typically follow the “three R’s”–rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration. Anti-human trafficking service organizations (AHTSOs) play an essential role in implementing the “three Rs,” influencing India’s anti-trafficking policy and aid for trafficking survivors. However, few investigations have explored AHTSOs professionals’ perceptions of their roles and the multilevel factors that influence their ability to address the needs of ST survivors in India. Thirteen Indian professionals participated in this study. Through the use of in-depth individual interviews, professionals discussed the challenges and barriers to their work. The findings of the study reflect that number of challenges and barriers faced by professionals when working with ST survivors included societal level factors such as ST stigma, apathy toward learning about ST, issues within the government and justice systems as well as distrust of AHTSOs and mistreatment of ST survivors. The results point to important areas of intervention to prevent the trafficking of girls and women in India, and further highlight the need for additional support for Indian professionals working with these survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Human Trafficking
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • commercial sexual exploitation
  • India
  • service provision
  • Sex trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Anthropology
  • Transportation
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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