Dr Tara Warden

Social Anthropologist


Tara has a background in ethnographic field work with a focus on social exclusion in the developing world. In 2005, she studied identity and exclusion on the rural coast of Ecuador. In 2007, Tara worked as an activist and an anthropologist for the Tanzanian NGO HIMS (Health Integrated Multi-sectorlal Services), whose primary efforts are to reduce social exclusion within Tanzanian society. In this capacity, she worked with a number of excluded groups including, single mothers, people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans, street children, and the indigenous Maasai. Her interest in social exclusion as a means of facilitating injustice and exploitation makes crime and criminal justice relevant in her research.

In 2009-10, Tara worked as an activist and ethnographer for the Guatemalan NGO MuJER, Women for Justice, Education, and Awareness; whilst earning a PhD from the University of Stirling, Scotland. Tara’s research focused on Identifying the Underlying Push/Pull Factors which Reinforce Human Traffic and Commercial Sexual Exploitation. During this time she worked closely with sex workers gathering ethnographic data which was analysed and compiled into a thesis, conference papers, articles for publication, and expert testimony in human traffic cases in the United States.

Currently, Tara is an independent researcher living in the south-west of France on the Spanish border and she intends to continue her activism defending the rights and safety of sex workers as well as conducting investigations into the prevalence of cross-border human traffic in the region.

Research keywords: Commercial sexual exploitation, human traffic, femicide, violence against women, sex work and prostitution

Relevant Publications

  • Warden T. (2013) Feet of Clay, Confonting Emotional Challenges in Ethnographic Research // Journal of Organisational Ethnography. – Liverpool: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 2/2, 150-172.
  • Margaret, M.; Warden T.; Hamilton-Smith N. (2012) Care And Support for Adult Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings: A Review [Report] : Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. – Stirling : Scottish Government Social Research, 1-49.


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