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‘Vulnerability’ to Human Trafficking: A Study of Vietnam, Albania, Nigeria and the UK

UPDATE: March 2019 Final report

'Between Two Fires' - Executive summary - PDF 206.5 KB

'Between Two Fires' - Final Report [PDF]

Vulnerability to Human Trafficking - Literature Review [PDF]

People are trafficked for a range of reasons relating to individual, family, community and societal level factors. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has developed a ‘Determinants of Migrant Vulnerability’ model to help understand human trafficking and migration more broadly. This model focusses on both the ‘vulnerabilities’ and ‘capabilities’ of people who have experienced trafficking. The model looks like this:

Determinants of Vulnerability model

This study was conducted in Albania, Nigeria and Viet Nam, aiming to improve understanding of the causes, determinants and ‘vulnerabilities’ to human trafficking as well as the support needs of people from these countries who have experienced trafficking into the UK. This study was carried out over two years in partnership with the UN migration agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Initially, Shared Learning Events were held in Albania, Nigeria and Viet Nam to explore what was already known about ‘vulnerability’ to human trafficking. These events involved presentations from a range of governmental, international and national stakeholders working with people who had experienced forced labour, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation or other forms of exploitation associated with human trafficking.

A literature review of academic and ‘grey’ literature explored contextual determinants of human trafficking. Thereafter the project used a mixed-method approach to enable rich and nuanced accounts of human trafficking to be captured. This involved interviews across the three countries and the UK with key informants and people who have experienced trafficking. Quantitative data from national and international databases on human trafficking was also be examined and analysed.


There are a number of accessible outputs from this research study available on these pages which include:

  • Three country-specific reports from the Shared Learning Events held in Tirana, Hanoi and Lagos
  • A review of academic and ‘grey’ literature - available above
  • A contextually-based Ethical Research Protocol
  • A Final Report - "Between Two Fires" - available above

Further dissemination of findings will include papers presented at conferences, peer-reviewed journal articles plus presentations to policy and practice audiences. Reports from the research will be included on IOM publications pages and disseminated through each participating country offices.

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