Position Visiting Fellow
Institution St Mary’s University
Discipline Social Anthropology
Affiliations EASA – European Association of Social AnthropologistsSociety for Medical AnthropologistsMental Health Innovation NetworkConnect Centre
Other links University Profile; LinkedIn; ResearchGate; Academia.edu
Contact  r.lazzarino@ymail.com

Personal Bio

Picture7Runa started investigating human trafficking, post-slavery life, and aftercare in 2010. She obtained her PhD in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Milano-Bicocca in 2015.  In her doctorate project she conducted a multi-country ethnography (Northern Vietnam, Central West Brazil, and Nepal) concentrating on the recovery and reintegration phase of human trafficking survivors. Subsequently, Runa was research fellow in the Care and Custody Lever (CCL) of the Rights Lab, a Beacon of Excellence of the University of Nottingham. The CCL focuses on the support needs of both perpetrators and survivors of modern slavery. Before joining the Rights Lab, Runa was fellow at UCL Institute of Advanced Studies and associate in the European project SEATIDE – Integration in Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion (EC 7th FP). Runa has also experience as consultant in psycho-social interventions, projects’ M&E, and management.

Research Profile

Runa received her MA with a final thesis in migration studies, based on fieldwork with migrants from the Global South to the city of Milan. In her doctoral research, she conducted a multi-country ethnography with the aim of exploring the ‘lived experience’ of human trafficking survivors in light of the legislative, humanitarian, and healthcare systems of their country. She concentrated on the recovery and reintegration phase adopting a multi-stakeholders’ perspective. On the one hand, she recruited participants with intergovernmental organs, NGOs, state departments, and shelters. On the other hand, she worked closely with a cohort of female survivors, following their recovery process, and getting familiar with their subjective and community dimensions. This entailed the involvement into psycho-therapeutic care, turning Runa familiar with post-traumatic suffering, with the consequences of violence on health and the psyche, and with global (mental) health at large. Her final dissertation sits at the intersection of medical anthropology, development, migration and gender studies.

2During the second half of her PhD, Runa became research associate in the project “SEATIDE – Integration in Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion (EC 7th FP)”. In this context, she worked as part of a multidisciplinary research team of anthropologists and economists. She focused on the effect of post-trafficking shelterization on survivors’ well-being and socio-economic reintegration into Vietnamese society. In addition to two peer-reviewed papers, the outputs of this post involved contribution to policy briefs, reports, and newsletters.

As fellow at UCL, Runa worked at a critical article on post-slavery mental health, combining an anthropological perspective – via the analysis of some fresh data from my PhD – with the current literature in health sciences, to argue for the necessity of interdisciplinary studies and interventions in order to offer user-centred and cultural-specific mental healthcare away from standard trauma-informed services to survivors.

While at Nottingham Runa contributed to the work to the CCL which aims to design and test an evidence-based and participatory therapeutic package devoted to alleviate the mental and social suffering of both survivors and perpetrators. Such package is meant to be informed by the users’ voice, hinge on the concept of personal recovery, be culturally sensitive and economic feasible in order to be scalable. Additionally, at Nottingham, Runa co-led a web-based scoping research of the current global mental healthcare provision to survivors of slavery worldwide; she contributed to a report regarding modern slavery survivors’ support in response to MP Frank Field call for cases (Feb 2018); and she coordinated the launch event of the first Post-Slavery Mental Health Managed Innovation. The event was designed to foster collaboration with external actors from a wide range of settings: academic, charities, service user groups, police forces.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Lazzarino R. Trauma or lack of love? Psychiatric and anthropological sciences on post-trafficking emotional health: insights from aftercare in Vietnam and Brazil, Medical Anthropology (under review)

Jordan M., N. Wright, E. Wright, R. Lazzarino, Biopower and the promise of parrhesia: a critical analysis of the global mental healthcare response to modern slavery, Sociology of Health and Illness (under review)

Wright N., M. Jordan, R. Lazzarino, E. Wright, Modern slavery and mental healthcare: a global scoping exercise analysing the provision of services, BMC International Health and Human Rights (under review)

Lazzarino R. 2014 Between shame and lack of responsibility: the articulation of emotions among female returnees of human trafficking in northern Vietnam, Antropologia, South East Asia, 1 (1): 155 – 167

Lazzarino R. 2013 From policies to lived experience and back: the struggle for reintegrating returnees of human trafficking in Goiás State (Central West Brazil), REMHU-Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana, 21 (41): 163 – 187

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

Arocha L., R. Lazzarino, Gender, enslavement, and trafficking, M. Ventrella (ed), A Cultural History of Slavery and Human Trafficking in the Age of Globalization, Bloomsbury Academic: London (forthcoming)

Lazzarino R. 2017 After the shelter: the nuances of reintegrating human trafficking returnees in northern Vietnam, S. Vignato (ed), Dreams of prosperity. Inequality and Integration in Southeast Asia, Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai, 167-202


Edited Issues

Lazzarino R. 2019 Editorial: Fixing the disjuncture, inverting the drift: decolonising human trafficking and modern slavery, Inside the Category of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Special Issue, Journal of Human Trafficking (under review)


Other Publications/Policy Papers

Wright N., M. Jordan, R. Lazzarino, E. Wright, D. Charnock, A. Hui 2018 A systematic review of interventions to support the mental health of survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking. PROSPERO, CRD42018094082

Lazzarino R. 2017 Freeloaders, blackmailers and lost souls: rescued sex trafficking survivors in the hands of the assistance, Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, OpenDemocracy, 25.11.17

Alcano M., R. Lazzarino 2016 Gender on the move: borders, social values and displacements, SEATIDE: Integration in Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion, Policy Brief

Dean K., L. Kiik, R. Lazzarino, A. Y. Guillou, K. Kulla, M. Arnez 2015 State Rhetoric versus People Crossing Borders in Southeast Asia. An Ongoing Negotiation, SEATIDE: Integration in Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion, WP3, Deliverable 3.3: Online Paper 4: Cross-Border Circulations