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Programs in Seed Grants

Community collaboration toward improved mental health outcomes for survivors of human trafficking in Brazil

Principal Investigators: Grant Miller, PhD, Stanford Health Policy; Michael Baiocchi, PhD, Stanford Medicine Department Epidemiology and Population Health

Research Team: Victoria Ward, MD, Stanford Medicine Pediatrics; Kimberly Babiarz, PhD, Health Policy; Jessica Brunner, MA, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, School of Humanities and Sciences

Centro de Defesa da Vida e dos Direitos Humanos Carmen Bascarán

Center for Innovation in Global Health

Forced labor and human trafficking have significant health consequences, including physical and mental trauma, exposure to diseases, and limited access to healthcare. In Brazil, Stanford’s Human Trafficking Data Lab is collaborating with partners to address gaps in post-trafficking care. Their proposal aims to enhance a digital victim case management system by exploring the possibility and utility of peer counseling for survivors in Maranhão, a high-risk area for trafficking. The project aims to set up a future randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of peer counselors in improving survivors’ employment, service utilization, and mental health.

“This research takes an existing project in important new directions — toward integrating the valuable lived experience of human trafficking survivors in the flow of post-trafficking care,” said CO-Principal Investigator Dr. Grant Miller. “Our work will hopefully make a valuable contribution to better understanding the potential positive outcomes for survivors and peer counselors alike while pushing to change the current ‘victim’ narrative.”

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