3+ funding studentship (PhD in Public Health)


About me

After obtaining a Licence in Biology (Paris VI), I have completed a Master in Public Health with specialisation in Epidemiology (ISPED, Bordeaux II) and a Master in International and European Law with specialisation in Humanitarian Action and Law (IEHI, Aix-Marseille III). Before enrolling for my PhD at the LSHTM, I have been working at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) as a project manager within the EpiSouth plus project – network to enhance preparedness to face Public Health threats in the Mediterranean and Balkans region. My main role has been to set-up, manage and coordinate the Laboratory network (MRLN), including 24 countries of this region.

In 2013, I have been awarded an ESRC scholarship to study a PhD within the Global Health Department at the LSHTM. My research is linked to a DFiD-ILO-LSHTM research project on Human trafficking in South Asia, the ‘Work in Freedom’ programme.

In the frame of the LSHTM Ebola task force, I have been deployed by Save the Children from mid-December 2014 to mid-February 2015 as Health Information System Manager in the Kerry Town Ebola Treatment Centre, Sierra Leone.

For the year 2014-15, I have been elected as Vice President for Research Dregree students in the SRC and am currently one of the Student representatives of the Faculty of Public Health and Policy (LSHTM).

My research

My PhD research aims at conceptualising ‘labour exploitation’ from a Public Health perspective, focusing on exploitation of migrants working in manual low-skilled jobs. I am interested in clarifying controversies around the current use ‘human trafficking’, ‘forced labour’, ‘slavery’, ‘precariousness’ and other terminologies as separate terms founded on concepts of ‘exploitation’. Indeed the interchangeable use of these terms hinders progress and precision in the fields of trafficking, slavery and forced labour and thus hampers identification and protection of the most vulnerable workers. This project will therefore use participatory and mixed methods – including advanced quantitative methods – to propose a sound conceptual framework that will build bridges between several disciplines and actors, including multi-disciplinary experts and a population of migrant workers.

The difference my research makes

This interdisciplinary research will offer for the first time a Public Health perspective to clarify a construct that has been almost exclusively discussed within the spheres of law, policy and social sciences. Furthermore, to the best of my knowledge, this will be the first time a population at risk of ‘exploitation’ will be involved in the development of a conceptual framework of this construct.

Terms such as ‘human trafficking’, ‘forced labour’, or ‘slavery’ are specifically defined in national and international legislative instruments guaranteeing some rights and protection to victims identified. The absence of consensus on definitions of these concepts related to ‘exploitation’ impedes the identification of victims of ‘exploitative’ situations.

By producing a sound conceptualisation of ‘labour exploitation’, this research will contribute to clarifying the key concept ‘labour exploitation’, and fostering victims identification as well as their protection and access to health and social services.


Cathy Zimmerman: www.lshtm.ac.uk/aboutus/people/zimmerman.cathy
Ligia Kiss: www.lshtm.ac.uk/aboutus/people/kiss.ligia

External links