A Survey of Operations Research and Analytics Literature Related to Anti-Human Trafficking

Geri L. Dimas, Renata A. Konrad, Kayse Lee Maass, Andrew C. Trapp

Human trafficking is a compound social, economic, and human rights issue occurring in all regions of the world. Understanding and addressing such a complex crime requires effort from multiple domains and perspectives. As of this writing, no systematic review exists of the Operations Research and Analytics literature applied to the domain of human trafficking. The purpose of this work is to fill this gap through a systematic literature review. Studies matching our search criteria were found ranging from 2010 to March 2021. These studies were gathered and analyzed to help answer the following three research questions: (i) What aspects of human trafficking are being studied by Operations Research and Analytics researchers? (ii) What Operations Research and Analytics methods are being applied in the anti-human trafficking domain? and (iii) What are the existing research gaps associated with (i) and (ii)? By answering these questions, we illuminate the extent to which these topics have been addressed in the literature, as well as inform future research opportunities in applying analytical methods to advance the fight against human trafficking.

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