Screening for Human Trafficking in the Health Care System

The health care team is a vital partner in addressing the human trafficking situation in the U.S. and around the world. This presentation takes on the extraordinarily hidden and complex challenge of screening for human trafficking in the health care system. One study notes that approximately 88% of sex trafficking victims had contact with a health care professional (Chisolm-Straker, et al, 2014). Each of these contacts is an opportunity for identifying and assisting a victim. It is a goal of this talk to provide an increased awareness of the trafficking situation to all members of the health care team. Included in this presentation is the identification of the multiple trafficking types, behaviors and dynamics which play out in these situations, as well as "red flag" warning signs. Stereotypes surrounding this issue, barriers to screening, and the unique challenges faced when trying to identify trafficked victims are also discussed. Most importantly, techniques for effectively screening victims, as well as follow-up recommendations and resources, are provided. As a result, it is hoped that all members of the health care team are empowered to incorporate effective screening techniques into their every day practice, along with strategies for identifying and assisting trafficking victims.


Outline/Structure of the Presentation

1) Introduction

2) Stereotypes

3) Overview and Scope

4) Definition

5) Overlap of Abuse with Human Trafficking

6) Types of Human Trafficking

7) Role of the Health Care Team

8) Barriers and Benefits to Screening

9) Who gets trafficked

10) Dynamics of Human Trafficking

11) Methods of Initiation/Recruitment/Control

12) Complications and Health Effects, including Traumatic Bonding

13) "Red Flags"

14) Screening/Responding, including the Harm Reduction Approach

15) Plan of Care/Resources/Referrals

16) Health Care Setting Implementation

Learning Outcome

Following this presentation, participants will have an increased understanding of the following:

1) The scope, stereotypes, definition, types, and impact of human trafficking

2) The behaviors and dynamics which play out in these situations

3) The signs and "red flags" to help identify a trafficked victim, as well as effective screening strategies.

3) The importance of screening for trafficking in the health care setting, involving all members of the health care team, including strategies for a supportive, nonjudgmental and coordinated response when trafficking is identified.

Target Audience

Health Care Clinicians and Team Members, All those working with trafficking victims

Prerequisites for Attendees

Have a basic understanding of the human trafficking situation in the U.S. and in the world.

This presentation is not to be limited to health care team members. It is vital that all working in this field have the opportunity to attend and build on their present knowledge base with this information.

schedule Submitted 3 years ago