1 in 8 Trafficked Children Exhibit PTSD Symptoms


London, England – 387 children and adolescents aged 10-17 years old, who escaped and survived child trafficking in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and various other places in China and Laos, were surveyed by researchers from the Department of Global Health and Development, the Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Of the 387 children and adolescents, 18% were male. Participants were interviewed from October 2011 to May 2013, upon entering post-trafficking services within two weeks.

The researchers found that 12% had attempted suicide and self-harm a month before the interview. In terms of mental health, 56% qualified for a diagnosis of depression, 33% an anxiety disorder, and 26% PTSD. The boys encountered physical violence while trafficked at 41% while the girls at 19%. 23% of the girls experienced sexual violence, in contrast to one boy.

Such a study re-ignites the importance and discussion of mental health service provision for survivors looking to reunite with their families and reintegrate into society.

Source: JAMA Pediatrics