Helping Individuals in the Sex Trade During COVID-19: The Perspectives of Israeli Aid Organizations

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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has had a collateral effect on marginalized populations, including individuals in the sex trade (IST). In addition, the literature of the past year has documented a significant impact of the pandemic on healthcare providers. However, there is a lack of research on the new challenges and existing hardships facing aid organizations working with IST populations. This naturalistic qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with 33 IST aid organization workers in Israel between May and July 2020 to capture their perceptions and experiences within broader social-relational contexts. Data analysis revealed that the pandemic impacted three different arenas: The assistance systems and the quality of care; The relationship between aid organizations and state authorities; and The intraorganizational and interorganizational relationship. These findings add to the knowledge about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on aid organizations, particularly the need for greater collaboration between aid organizations during health crises and governmental support for these organizations. In addition, the study highlights the opportunities that a global and local health crisis can create advancing new knowledge and practices used by aid organizations in their work to assist IST populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 23 Dec 2021


  • Aid-work
  • Covid-19
  • Humanitarian crisis
  • Nongovernmental organizations
  • Sex work

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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