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Polina Smiragina-IngelströmPostdoctoral fellow, researcher

About me

Researcher at the Criminology department at SU

Researcher and lecturer at DIS Stockholm

Advisory board member at the Journal of Modern Slavery


Research interests: victimology, help-seeking behavior, medical anthropology, organized crime (with a special focus on human trafficking and illicit organ trade), human rights, and gender. 


Stockholm University | Criminology Department (2021-ongoing): 

Allmän Översiktskurs (Kriminologi I)

Viktimologi (Kriminologi II) 


DIS Stockholm | Department of Justice and Human Rights (2016- ongoing): 

Human Trafficking and the Sex Trade

Human Trafficking in a Global Context

Research mentor 

Guest lecturing within other DIS departments:

Migration and Public Health (Department of Medical Practice and Policy),

Criminology and Criminal Justice in Scandinavia (Department of Justice and Human Rights)

Human Trafficking in a Global Context (Department of Justice and Human Rights).    


The University of Sydney | Department of Sociology and Social Policy (2015-2019):

Introduction to Sociology

Sociology of Terror

Qualitative Methods


Research project“Negotiating care, post-trafficking needs and gender in understanding help-seeking behaviour of trafficked victims: a case study of Finland and Sweden”

This is a comparative case study, which seeks to investigate help-seeking behaviour among the male and female victims of human trafficking in Sweden and Finland. Using the post-trafficking assistance model as an analytical framework, this study aims to uncover factors that enable or impede help-seeking behaviour among trafficked victims, as well as to identify the gaps in existing assistance mechanisms in the two countries. Through ethnographic methods, combining insights from sociology, medical anthropology and criminology, this study attempts to gather detailed qualitative data to examine the help-seeking behaviour of trafficked victims. This study is grounded in the constructionist tradition, whereby it attempts to examine the existing assistance and care mechanisms and the actual needs of victims through an interactional lens. It then attempts to identify the role these factors play in the help-seeking behaviour of trafficked victims. In analysing the empirical data, I will build on an interactional approach to victimhood, and draw from theories regarding the hierarchy of victimhood, the concept of the ideal victim and notions of gender (including the sociology of femininity and masculinity). 


Timeframe: one year, from autumn 2021 until autumn 2022. Financed by the Nordic Research Council for Criminology (NSfK). 




Smiragina-Ingelstrom, P. (2020). Human Trafficking of Men: A Gendered Perspective on Victimhood. The University of Sydney.


Wilkins, D. & Smiragina-Ingelstrom P. (Forthcoming). ’The Problem of “Slavery” and Enslavement: Modern Discourses on the Problems of Slavery Past and Present’. In:  Wilkins, D. & Smiragina-Ingelstrom P.(eds) Slavery in Transition: Critical Studies of Slavery and Enslavement Over Time. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.


Smiragina-Ingelstrom P., Henderson A., Andjelkovic M., (Forthcoming), ‘Gender perspectives in combating trafficking in human beings: Lessons learned and best practices in the OSCE region’. OSCE. Vienna.

Smiragina, P., 2019, ‘Trafficking in Persons for the Purpose of Organ Removal’, NSfK’s 61st Research Seminar Report. 


Smiragina, P., 2017, ‘Fear and Choice within the Framework of Exploitation Research’, NSfK’s 59th Research Seminar Report, p.303-312.


Smiragina, P., 2016, ‘Male Victims of Human Trafficking’. In Slavery Past, Present and Future. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Doi:


Smiragina, P., 2015, ‘The Invisibility of Male Victims of Human Trafficking’, NEXUS, Australian Sociological Association, vol. 27, no 1, p. 39-40.


Smiragina, P., 2015, ‘Misidentification of Men Within the Human Trafficking Discourse’, Refereed Proceedings of TASA 2015 Conference: Neoliberalism and Contemporary Challenges for the Asia Pacific, The Australian Sociological Association, p.123-129.


Smiragina P.A., 2013, ‘Human Trafficking, Forced Labor and Labor Exploitation’, Migration Bridges in Eurasia. V International Conference: Labour Migration in the Russian Federation: The Prevention of Forced Labour, the Promotion of Social Economical Development, Improvement Regulation, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, p. 229-232. 


Research projects