ABSTRACT. The vulnerability of millions of trafficked victims worldwide has attracted the attention of people who want to join hands in either protecting the victims or raising voices to help end human trafficking crimes. Human trafficking, however, is a sensitive issue to deal with because it relates to organized crime and the reprisals against trafficked victims and even against practitioners and researchers by traffickers, pimps, or criminal networks. Doing research on human trafficking is not an easy task. This discussion about ethics shares my understanding and experience in undertaking human trafficking research and managing risks in the field as well as my rules for protecting the rights and safety of trafficked victims and those who are involved in the research. The paper shows that ethical considerations are of utmost importance in human trafficking research. It sets out different ethical principles and areas of consideration to help identify and minimize inherent risks. Further, it points out necessary ethical recommendations for those who are interested in doing human trafficking research or who want to understand the importance of ethics in researching human trafficking issues. pp. 171–190

Keywords: human trafficking; ethical considerations; research; trafficked victims; safety; confidentiality; human rights

How to cite: Duong, Kim Anh (2015), “Doing Human Trafficking Research: Reflections on Ethical Challenges,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 5(2): 171–190.

Received 10 January 2015 • Received in revised form 10 September 2015
Accepted 11 September 2015 • Available online 20 September 2015

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PhD, University of Waikato;
The Vietnam Women’s Academy

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