Document Type


Publication Date


MeSH Terms

Human Trafficking, Data Mining

Subject: LCSH

Human trafficking, Operations research, Data mining


Forensic Science and Technology


Human trafficking is a transnational complex societal and economic issue. While human trafficking has been studied in a variety of contexts, including criminology, sociological, and clinical domains, to date there has been very little coverage in the operations research (OR) and analytics community. This paper highlights how operations research and analytics techniques can be used to address the growing issue of human trafficking. It is intended to give insight to operations research and analytics professionals into the unique concerns, problems, and challenges in human trafficking; the relevance of OR and analytics to key pillars of human trafficking including prevention, protection, and prosecution; and to discuss opportunities for OR and analytics to make a difference in the human trafficking domain. We maintain that a profound need exists to explore how operations research and analytics can be effectively leveraged to combat human trafficking, and set forth this call to action to inhibit its pervasiveness.


This is the authors' pre-print version of the article published in European Journal of Operational Research. The version of record can be found at



Publisher Citation

Konrad, R. A., Trapp, A.C., Palmbach, T.M., & Blom, J.S. Overcoming human trafficking via operations research and analytics: Opportunities for methods, models, and applications. European Journal of Operational Research, 259(2):733–745, June 1, 2017 (published online 2 November 2016).