Traffickers and Victims: Opposite sides of the same coin?


  • Helen Leung
  • Crystal Yeung
  • Patricia Ho



Hong Kong Dignity Institute (HKDI) provides direct assistance to victims of trafficking and seeks to break cycles of exploitation through institutional change. Drawing from first-hand testimonials of over 30 individuals we have assisted since 2019 and insight from our civil society partners, in this article, we outline our observations of traffickers and their modus operandi in three prevalent trafficking scenarios in Hong Kong. Our experience suggests that trafficking networks are composed of a complex and fluid interplay of actors with blurred emotional lines between the traffickers and victims. We conclude that anti-trafficking efforts in Hong Kong are hampered by difficulties in identifying traffickers given the elusive nature of their activities.


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Author Biographies

Helen Leung

Helen Leung is Casework, Research & Education Manager at Hong Kong Dignity Institute (HKDI). With a focus on forced migration and displacement, she has led research initiatives for NGOs, governments, and UN agencies in Jordan, Syria, Tanzania, and Hong Kong. She was column editor at the Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration.

Crystal Yeung

Crystal Yeung is Head of Casework & Research at HKDI. As a public interest lawyer, she specialises in exposing and seeking remedies for exploitative practices. Crystal engages in trauma-informed victim interviewing with a focus on intersectionality and advises on cases concerning refugee protection, human trafficking, arrest and detention, discrimination, and family rights.

Patricia Ho

Patricia Ho is a lawyer, law lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, and Founder of HKDI. Patricia defends the rights of minorities through seeking advancements of government policies and laws through strategic litigation. In 2015, she brought Hong Kong’s first judicial review on slavery and servitude to encourage the introduction of specific legislations to criminalise forced labour and human trafficking (ZN v Secretary for Justice & Ors).




How to Cite

Leung, H., Yeung, C., & Ho, P. (2022). Traffickers and Victims: Opposite sides of the same coin?. Anti-Trafficking Review, (18), 190–194.