Recruiting and researching hidden/hard-to-reach populations: Practical and ethical challenges and good practices

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Criminologists often research hidden/hard-to-reach populations, such as victims of human trafficking or domestic violence, and are confronted with low response rates. This roundtable reflects on practical and ethical challenges when it comes to recruiting and researching these populations. Each discussant starts from their own experiences with their own population, being families who are experiencing child-to-parent violence, non-hetero victims of sexual transgressive behavior, survivors of human trafficking, victims of abuse in the Catholic church, older prisoners, and cis female sex workers.
The round table will start with an elevator pitch of every discussant about their research project and the hidden/hard-to-reach populations they study. Afterwards, the discussants will go into more depth about three central topics: (1) how to recruit hidden/hard-to-reach populations including gatekeepers and the use of social media, (2) ethical considerations such as the importance of informed consent and referral procedures, and (3) the selection of the most appropriate data collection method such as interviews, focus groups, surveys, including their advantages and disadvantages. As all discussants start from their own experiences, very practical tips and actual examples will be shared with the audience.
Period8 Sep 2023
Event title23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology: 23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology
Event typeConference
LocationFlorence, Italy
Degree of RecognitionInternational