Long-term (re) integration of persons trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation

Biljana Meshkovska, A.E.R. Bos, Melissa Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper focuses on the recovery and (re)integration processes of women victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in Europe. It looks at their life not just following a trafficking experience, but for several years afterwards, answering the questions: Are some factors more important than others, in the short and long run? What are the overall dynamics of the (re)integration process? How do the relevant influencing factors interact? What factors are crucial for a positive (re)integration immediately after the experience and how do they differ from what becomes important as the years go by? And what is crucial in order to ensure sustainable (re)integration? Fifty-two semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with service providers, trafficked persons, and family members of trafficked persons. A variety of factors influencing the (re)integration process were identified, such as: (a) the background of the individual; (b) trafficking experience – who the trafficker was and its severity; (c) the role of institutions, NGOs, and service providers; (d) economic factors; (e) the personal characteristics, challenges, motivations, and coping mechanisms of the victim; and finally (f) social support. However, what was identified as particularly important for the sustainability of the (re)integration process was relationships built with service providers, relationships rebuilt with existing family members, or relationships built with new families that were established after the trafficking experience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number02697580211011445
Pages (from-to)245–271
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Review of Victimology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • (re)integration
  • Trafficking
  • sexual exploitation
  • women


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