Aftercare Services for Child Victims of Sex Trafficking: A Systematic Review of Policy and Practice

Dorothy Muraya, Deborah Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore aftercare services provided to child victims of sex trafficking globally based on the results of a systematic review of published and unpublished research, organizational policy, and current practice. This systematic review serves as a first step toward developing best practices for aftercare service providers.
Method: A systematic search was conducted of four English language databases, two human trafficking resource libraries, and one Internet search engine for journal articles and “grey” literature published between January 2000 and May 2013 on the services offered to child sex trafficking victims globally. The search yielded 15 documents for inclusion in the review.
Results: The 15 documents emphasized the need for aftercare service provision to be founded on children’s rights and trauma-informed service provision. They recommended delivery practices such as case management and multidisciplinary, multiagency and multinational coordination to ensure the child victims benefit fully from the services. The systematic review revealed that there are three phases to aftercare service provision: rescue, recover, and reintegration. Each of these phases is characterized by different needs and types of services provided. The recovery phase received the most attention compared to recovery and reintegration phases.
Conclusion: The literature highlighted that aftercare service provision for child sex trafficking victims is a new area that needs an evidence base from which policy and practice can be formed. There is great need for further research and better documentation of service provision. While this research provides insight into this area, the gap in literature remains wide. The area of aftercare service provision for children who have been trafficked has experienced phenomenal growth within the last 10 years, and with more research and resources being directed to the area, the achievement of international minimum standards of care provision is possible.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrauma, Violence and Abuse
Early online date29 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • sexual abuse
  • child abuse
  • treatment/intervention
  • physical abuse


Dive into the research topics of 'Aftercare Services for Child Victims of Sex Trafficking: A Systematic Review of Policy and Practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this