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David Okech

Prof David Okech Picture
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Professor, School of Social Work
Director, Center for Human Trafficking Research and Outreach (CenHTRO)

Professor Okech’s current interdisciplinary and international research aims to create evidence-informed policies and programs for survivors of human trafficking in several West African countries. As a director of the Center on Human Trafficking Research & Outreach (CenHTRO), he is committed to using prevalence and baseline data that are survivor-informed to design policies and programs that can prevent human trafficking and provide assistance to survivors. He collaborates with government, NGOs, CBOs, INGOs, survivors, as well as interdisciplinary and international researchers.

Teaching Specialties

Human trafficking; community development; asset development; social work administration; social welfare policy; social work research; advanced statistical methods



  • Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • MSW, University of New Hampshire
  • B.A., University of Nairobi
Research Interests:

Evidence-informed programs and policies for victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking; community development; mechanisms for building household and community assets that have long-term benefits to vulnerable children; cross-national development and validation of instruments to identify and assist suspected trafficking survivors; the long-term impacts of the trafficking experience among survivors of trafficking

Of note:

Selected Publications

Okech, D., Choi, Y.J., Elkins, J., & Burns, A.C. (2017). Seventeen years of human trafficking research in social work practice: A review of the literature. Journal of EvidenceInformed Social Work,

Okech, D., McGarity, S. V., Hansen, N., Burns, A.C., & Howard, W. (2017). Financial capability and sociodemographic factors among survivors of human trafficking. Journal of EvidenceInformed Social Work,

Okech, D. & Danikuu, A. (2016) Providing a Lifeline for female survivors of human trafficking in Ghana, in M. Gray. (Ed.). The Handbook of Social Work and Social Development in Africa, Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Okech, D., Kim, J., & Little, T. D. (2015). Recent developments in structural equation modeling research in social work journalsBritish Journal of Social Work, 45(2), 685-704. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bct154

Barner, J. R, Okech, D., & Camp, M. (2014). Socio-economic inequality, human trafficking, and the global slave trade. Societies, 4(2), 148-160. DOI: 10.3390/soc4020148 

Okech, D., Kim, J., & Little, T.D. (2014). Recent developments in structural equation modeling research in social work publications. British Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bct154

Articles Featuring David Okech

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