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.

About HTCN

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine
Tonya E. Edmond headshot
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 workgroups (e.g., research, teaching, education, services, legal, law enforcement) are currently in the formation stage. In 2016, we will hold a community reception and half-day workshop to consolidate the existing research and partnership infrastructure and obtain research and implementation grants in coming years. Professional development workshops are also held through the Brown School of Social Work and Goldfarb School of Nursing.

Look for upcoming HTCN events.

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

For more information, contact: