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Photo of Hounmenou, Charles E.

Charles E. Hounmenou, PhD

Associate Professor


Building & Room:

ETMSW 4404


1040 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607

Office Phone:



Charles Hounmenou has extensive experience in research on human trafficking in the United States and the Sub-Saharan African region.


Professional Interests

Human trafficking
Commercial sexual exploitation of children
Child Welfare
Community Policing
Human rights of detainees and immigrants

Teaching Experience

SocW 410 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
SocW 420 Social Welfare Policy and Services
SocW 538 Social Work and Human Rights
SocW 560 Social Work Research
SocW 531 Policy 2 - Organization & Community Practice
SocW 527 Human Trafficking: Policy and Service Responses
SocW 565 Research II: Action Research

Selected Publications


Hounmenou, C. (2023). Experiences of Faith-Based Organizations as Key Stakeholders in Policy Responses to Human Trafficking. Societies, 37 pages. (30 August, 2023).

Hounmenou, C., & Toepp, S. (2023). Exploring Private Investigation Agencies’ Experience of Collaboration with Law Enforcement in Investigations of Human Trafficking Cases. Societies, 13, (44), 1-31. (Open Access).

Hounmenou, C. & O’Grady, C. (2023) Private Investigators’ Experiences in Human Trafficking Investigations. Journal of Human Trafficking, 9(3), 376-397, DOI: 10.1080/23322705.2021.1925819

Hounmenou, C. (2022). Faith-Based Organizations’ Input in the Fight against Human Trafficking. Research Report. 129 pages. Based_Organizations’_Input_in_the_Fight_against_Human_Trafficking.

Hounmenou, C., & O’Grady, C. (2021). Private investigators’ experiences in human trafficking investigations. Journal of Human Trafficking.

Hounmenou, C. (2021). A statewide coalition’s input in human trafficking policy implementation: Member organizations’ involvement and perceptions. Journal of Human Trafficking, 7(1), 69-87.

Laser-Maira, J., Hounmenou, C., & Peach, D. (2020). Global Commercial and Sexual Exploitation of Children. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology.

Laser-Maira, J., Peach, D., & Hounmenou, C. (2019). Moving towards self-actualization: a trauma-informed and needs-focused approach to the mental health needs of survivors of commercial child sexual exploitation. International Journal of Social Work, 6(2), 27-44.

Hounmenou, C., & O’Grady, C. (2019). A review and critique of the U.S. policy responses to commercial sexual exploitation of children. Children and Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.01.005.

Hounmenou, C. (2018). Engaging anti-human trafficking stakeholders in the research process. Journal of Human Trafficking. DOI: 10.1080/23322705.2018.1512284

Hounmenou, C. (2017). Policy Response and Service Provision to Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation in the West African Region. Journal of Human Trafficking. doi: 10.1080/23322705.2017.1356625

Hounmenou, C., & Her, W. (2017). Distinctiveness in the commercial sexual exploitation of children in sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Human Trafficking, 1-29. doi: 10.1080/23322705.2017.1365567

Hounmenou, C. (2017). Policy response and service provision to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the West African region. Journal of Human Trafficking, 1-26. doi: 10.1080/23322705.2017.1356625

Hounmenou, C. (2017). An initial exploration of prostitution of boys in the West African region. Child Abuse & Neglect, 69, 188–200. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.04.027

Hounmenou, C. (2016). Issues of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Violence among Children in Prostitution in West Africa. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 33(6). doi: 10.1007/s10560-016-0475-z

Hounmenou, C. (2016). Exploring child prostitution in a major city in the West African region. Child Abuse & Neglect, 59, 26–35. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.07.003

Hounmenou, C. (2016). Book Review [Theorising the Practice of Community Development: A South African Perspective] by Peter Westoby. Journal of Community Practice, 24(1), 112-115, doi: 10.1080/10705422.2016.1129236

Hounmenou, C. (2014). Etude sur la prostitution des mineurs et ses liens avec la migration et la traite à Djougou et à Malanville au Benin. 176 pages. ECPAT France & ECPAT Luxembourg.

Hounmenou, C. & Bonkoungou, Z. (2014). Etude sur la prostitution des mineurs et ses liens avec la migration et la traite à Ouagadougou au Burkina Faso. 158 pages. ECPAT France & ECPAT Luxembourg.

Hounmenou, C. & Maina, A. (2014). Etude sur la prostitution des mineurs et ses liens avec la migration et la traite à Niamey au Niger. 158 pages. ECPAT France & ECPAT Luxembourg.

Hounmenou, C. (2012). Black settlement houses and oppositional consciousness. Journal of Black Studies, 43(6), 646-666. doi: 10.1177/0021934712441203

Hounmenou, C. (2012). Human services professionals’ awareness of human trafficking. Journal of Policy Practice, 11(3), 06. doi: 10.1080/15588742.2012.655208

Hounmenou, C. (2012). Monitoring human rights of persons in police lockups: potential role of community-based organizations. Journal of Community Practice, 20(3), 274 – 292. doi: 10.1080/10705422.2012.700279

Hounmenou, C. (2011). Book Review [Striving to save: Creating policies for financial security of low-income families, by Sherraden, M. S., & McBride, A. M., with Beverly, S. G.]. Journal of Community Practice, 19(2), 193-195. doi: 10.1080/10705422.2011.569277


Books and Book Chapters

Hounmenou, C. (2019). Chapter 18: Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children in the West African Region. In J. Bryson Clark & S. Poucki (Eds.), Handbook of Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery (pp. 360-382). SAGE Publications Ltd.

Hounmenou, C. (2014). Justice Advocates: Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) and prison reform. Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research, University of Illinois Chicago.

Hounmenou, C. (2012). Justice advocates: Citizens Alert and police accountability. Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research, University of Illinois Chicago.


Journal Editorial Board

Board Member, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation – 2021-Present
Board Member, Journal of Mental Health and Social Behaviour – 2019-2023
Board Member, The Science Forecast Community Medicine and Health – 2019-2023
Board Member, Journal of Community Practice – 2017-2022
Board Member, Journal of Family Medicine Forecast – 2017-Present
Managing Editor, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation – 2010-2012


Journal Guest Editor

Journal of Offender Rehabilitation – Special Issue: “Human Trafficking Victim Restoration and Offender Rehabilitation” – 2023-Present

Societies – Special Issue: “Current Trends and Dimensions of Child Trafficking” – 2023-Present


MA, Benin National University
MEd, Benin National University
MSW, Washington University in St. Louis
PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago

Professional Memberships

Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars
Global Fulbright Alumni Network
National Association of Social Workers
International Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants
Council on Social Work Education
Society for Social Work and Research
Human Rights Watch

Research Currently in Progress

Co-Investigator. Ethics of HIV-Related Research Involving Underage Key Population in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Sponsor: National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. 2022-2026.

Co-Principal Investigator.Formative Research on Child Trafficking in Cote-d’Ivoire.” Sponsor: U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. 2023-2024.

Principal Investigator. “Faith-based Organizations’ Distinctive Input in the Fight against Human Trafficking in the USA”. Sponsor: Jane Addams College of Social Work. University of Illinois Chicago. 2022-2024.