February 2015 – NEXUS, Fafo and D&E have just released two new studies on trafficking prevention, as part of our joint project Preventing Trafficking & Supporting Safe Migration in Albania. The pilot project, undertaken in one community in Albania, used a “positive deviance” methodology in an effort to prevent human trafficking. This approach recognizes that in all communities there are indigenous coping mechanisms and resiliency strategies that allow individuals to negotiate the risk of trafficking in spite of their limited opportunities and resources. The project identified “positive deviants” (i.e. individuals who were able to avoid trafficking even in adverse conditions) and learned from them what strategies they had employed (i.e. “positive deviant” practices) to cope with trafficking risk and vulnerability. Working together with community leaders and members, these strategies were then shared widely within the community to prevent trafficking and enhance safe migration. These two publications share lessons from the implementation of the project.
This paper is a resource for practitioners working in the field of human trafficking prevention who are considering implementing a positive deviance methodology. The paper details experiences in developing and implementing a positive deviance trafficking prevention project in a town in Albania. It provides an overview of the positive deviance methodology, including previous applications in the trafficking field and then describes the implementation of this pilot prevention project in Albania. The paper also explores overarching issues and considerations in using positive deviance to prevent trafficking, highlighting both potential opportunities and limitations. The annotated bibliography offers a list of literature and resources on positive deviance methodology generally, as well as specifically in terms of its application in the field of human trafficking.
This study discusses our piloting of a project to prevent human trafficking utilizing the positive deviance approach. Our interest in the positive deviance approach emerged from learning about its previous application in the prevention of trafficking of girls for sexual exploitation and to assess whether this approach could potentially be used more broadly – in this case in another geographical, social and economic environment, as well as adapted to adult trafficking victims and victims of trafficking for labor as well as sexual exploitation. Because the positive deviance approach focuses on solutions that have already been found and mobilized in the community (i.e. among those “at risk” of trafficking ), this methodology holds promise for successful, locally grounded trafficking prevention practices. A positive deviance approach to trafficking prevention would be based on careful consideration of the local trafficking (and migration) contexts, how the community sees the problem and solution, as well as available resources within the community that address the issue of human trafficking. This paper documents the different steps in the implementation of this pilot project, including adjustments and adaptations made at various stages, and discusses potential opportunities for, and limitations in, the application of a positive deviance approach for trafficking prevention.