The Bloomsbury Colleges | PhD Studentships | Studentships 2012 | Human trafficking in the Mekong sub-Region (Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam): a quantitative analysis of health needs and policy responses in the context of debates on migrants' rights
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Human Trafficking in the Mekong Sub-Region (Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam): Quantitative Analysis of Health Needs and Policy Analysis of Responses in the Context of Debates on Migrants' Rights

Lead Supervisor: Cathy Zimmerman (LSHTM)

Co-Supervisor: Fiona Adamson (SOAS)

Human trafficking is associated with high risk migration and labour exploitation. The intersection between trafficked persons' health needs, healthcare access in the context of migration and health policy-making has received little attention. Few studies have explored the politics and policy-making of health, human trafficking, labour migration and exploitation, or situated such issues within larger debates on the rights of migrant populations, including the right to health care.

The studentship project will use data from LSHTM's Study on Trafficking, Exploitation and Abuse in the Mekong (STEAM), which aims to identify health risks and consequences among individuals receiving post-trafficking services and data collected by the student on national, regional and international migration and health policy-making in one or more of the three study countries.

The broad aims of the studentship research are to explore features of health risk exposures, outcomes and access to health services among males and females using post-trafficking services in Mekong study countries and to consider these in the context of regional migration policies and broader debates on migrants' rights, including the right of access to adequate health care.

The successful candidate will have significant scope to revise the study aims and approaches to this topic, with the approval of the supervisors.

The selected candidate will work with a multi-disciplinary team within LSHTM's Gender, Violence & Health group, in the centre for Social and Mathematical Epidemiology, and in very close collaboration with staff at Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS.

Candidates are required to:

  • have completed Master's level training in a related topic or skill set;
  • conducted previous work in a developing or middle income country;
  • possess excellent and proven writing skills;
  • have a strong interest in participatory, action-oriented research.

Desirable skills include:

  • have conducted or collaborated in previous field research, including conducting interviews, writing up findings;
  • basic or advanced training in quantitative data analysis;
  • competency in either Thai, Khmer or Vietnamese;
  • human rights knowledge or experience.

Study methods and topics span the disciplines of epidemiology, public and global health, and international relations, global governance and migration studies. The student will acquire skills to conduct literature reviews, carry out basic (or more complex) data analysis, conduct qualitative interviews and policy analysis.

Key References

For information on the GVHC group and reports on trafficking and health, please see:

Other important references to review include:

Adamson, F.B. and C.L. Sriram (2010) 'Perspectives on International Law in International Relations' in B. Cali (ed.) International Law for International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 24-45

Adamson, F.B., T. Triadifilopoulos and A.R. Zolberg (eds) (2011) The Limits of the Liberal State: Migration, Identity and Belonging in Europe. Special Issues of Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS) 37 (6).

Zimmerman, C., L.Kiss, and M.Hossain, Migration and Health: A framework for 21st century policymaking. PLoS Med, 2011; 8(5):e1001034, Series editors.

Zimmerman, C.; Hossain, M.; Yun, K.; et al. (2008). The Health of Trafficked Women: A Survey of Women Entering Posttrafficking Services in Europe. American Journal of Public Health, 98(1): 55-9.

Further details about the project may be obtained from:

Lead Supervisor: Cathy Zimmerman,,

Co-Supervisor: Fiona Adamson,,

Further information about PhDs at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is available from:

Application forms and details about how to apply are available from:

This studentship is now closed.