Human Trafficking Collaborative Network

The Human Trafficking Collaborative Network (HTCN) is an informal network of researchers, students and community partners with a common interest in improving understanding of human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable populations supported by the Washington University Institute for Public Health.


The primary mission of HTCN is to facilitate interdisciplinary research, education, dissemination and community partnerships related to human trafficking and other similarly vulnerable populations.

Through research, education, internal training, community partnership, and advocacy, HTCN aims to increase awareness and reduce incidence of human trafficking in the region, improve health consequences of trafficking and exploitation, evaluate practice interventions, and promote prevention efforts to reduce risks for being trafficked or exploited.

Click here for a PDF version of the HTCN flyer.

About HTCN

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Brown School

In 2015, four core faculty members – Tonya Edmond, Andrea Nichols, Rumi Price and Kathleen Thimsen – discovered that each of them was engaged in anti-trafficking/exploitation work, but in different areas. The four decided to create an interdisciplinary platform, now housed by the Institute for Public Health.

The core faculty’s appointments encompass the Brown School of Social Work, School of Arts & Science (Women, Gender &, Sexuality Program), School of Medicine (Psychiatry) and Goldfarb School of Nursing/BJC. HTCN formation was also motivated by students volunteering to participate in human trafficking-related studies, and a high level of student interest.

Current Activities

HTCN’s 2016 milestones included:

  • June: Three stakeholder brainstorming meetings
  • July: Website soft launch
  • August: Stakeholder reception
  • September: Presentation at the WU Alumni and Development Day
  • October: Two related grant awards from the US Department of Justice
  • November: First Next Steps workshop
  • November: Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College, Effective Response to Human Trafficking Conference

As result of the 2016 Next Steps workshop, HTCN plans to pursue activities in 2017:

  • The Healthcare Track will focus on: (1) development of curriculum into the respective schools or departments (2) training with law enforcement in two Emergency Medical Services (EMS) services; and (3) collaboration between healthcare, law enforcement and service providers to expand human trafficking training for health care providers. Activities will be coordinated by the Goldfarb School of Nursing (facilitator  – Dr. Kathleen Thimsen)
  • The Labor Trafficking Track will focus on:  (1) conducting and disseminating  a systematic review of domestic labor trafficking; (2) planning focus groups and short surveys for select business sectors; and (3) for chosen business sectors, map out the business locations in a catchment area.  Activities will be coordinated with the International Institute Rescue and Restore (R&R) and other IPH programs (facilitator – Dr. Rumi Price)
  • The Education Track will continue to provide seminars and panel discussions on human trafficking through the Brown School of Social Work and the WU Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (facilitator – Dr. Andrea Nichols).
  • The Policy Track will coordinate activities with community partners, including the Coalition against Trafficking and Exploitation (CATE), National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Human Trafficking Task Force, and Missouri legislative offices. (facilitator – Dr. Tonya Edmond)
  • A joint Trafficking School/HTCN Workshop is planned in Fall, 2017. Date TBA.

Look for upcoming HTCN events.

Click here to read a recent HTCN commentary, “Child Pornography is Sex Trafficking.”

For more information, contact: