Human Trafficking Collaborative Network

Supported by Washington University’s Institute for Public Health, 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.


The primary mission of HTCN is to facilitate from a public health approach 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:

• Provide evidence base to aspects of human trafficking
• Improve health consequences of trafficking and exploitation
• Promote prevention efforts to reduce risks for being trafficked or exploited.
• Evaluate intervention programs
• Increase awareness in the St. Louis region
• Collaboratively reduce incidents of human trafficking in the region

Click here for a printable HTCN flyer.

Click here to become a HTCN volunteer.

About HTCN

In 2015, four core faculty members – Drs. Tonya Edmond, Andrea Nichols, Rumi Price and Kathleen Thimsen – discovered that each 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 appointments encompass the Brown School of Social Work, School of Medicine and Goldfarb School of Nursing/BJC. The formation of HTCN was also motivated by a high level of interest by students volunteering to participate in human trafficking-related studies.

HTCN Core Partnership represents more than 25 organizations including university researchers and clinicians, healthcare professionals, community coalitions, court systems, law enforcement, community service providers, legislative staff, political advocacy groups, translation businesses, survivors, students and private foundation representatives, among others.

HTCN Core and Workgroup Plans

DATA CORE (Lead: Dr. Price)

  • Collecting new, credible data and correct inaccurate information
    –Compile credible regional and local prevalence data and risk factor information
    –Collecting and mapping press release data involving federal, prosecuted or indicted cases in Missouri and Illinois
    –Advocate to reduce sensational and/or stereotype images, language or numbers
    –Explore innovative methodologies to improve regional and local HT estimates
    –Provide available labor trafficking information
  • Provide risk-factor related data in the St. Louis region
    –Mapping project on St. Louis Metropolitan area
    –Expanding some domain mapping to Missouri and Illinois
  • Promoting centralized database development in Missouri


  • Continue to strive for an inclusive anti-human trafficking network in the St. Louis region
    –Expand the HTCN listserv subscribers
    –Create an organizational mechanism to involve community partners and receive more timely feedback from the community
    –Organize advisory meetings on a regular basis
  • Convene an open forum meeting of HTCN members once a year
  • Continue to participate community committees and coalition groups
    –Actively engage in the community NGO’s such as CATE, NCJW, labor unions, and minority community groups.
    –Explore more buy-ins from at-risk businesses
    –Actively engage in governmental anti-human trafficking offices and law enforcement.
    –Outreach through exhibit participation and media appearances


  • Continue to provide annual healthcare anti-trafficking conference for healthcare providers
    –Increase emphasis on trauma informed response and care
    –Continue evaluation assessments
  • Extend clinical and research collaborations with other hospitals and clinics in the St. Louis area
    –Develop and refine standardized victim identification
    –Develop standardized qualification and expertise in human trafficking for healthcare providers
    –Promote dissemination of and training on the ICD10- CM codes instituted in 2018


  • Continue with an anti-HT policy study focusing on improving political efficacy
    –Measuring improvement in general political efficacy among those interested in anti-human trafficking movement via IPH funding in collaboration with the Clark-Fox Policy Institute
  • Continue to collaborate with community policy activists, political leaders in the region
    –Meeting with state and federal policy makers
    –Participate in anti-HT forums and rallies organized by policy makers and activists.
    –Support community partners for policy incentivized events
  • Offer seminars on nuts and bolts of legislation process
    –Continue to collaborative planning with NCJW

Upcoming HTCN events

For more information, contact: