"Responding to the Public Health Crisis of Human Trafficking during Natural Disasters"

Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal enterprises involving the force, fraud, and coercion of human beings as a commodity for profit. The trafficking of persons for sex, labor, and organs means a victim can be sold and exploited on multiple levels and repeatedly. Natural disasters such as Katrina and Maria can fracture the lives of individuals, families, and communities leaving them open for even greater vulnerability to traffickers for intersecting forms of victimization and exploitation.

Direct and indirect victims (families/communities - involved and receiving) can suffer physical, emotional and psychological trauma and scars from displacement and loss, however, there are at greater risk for trauma exposures and experiences which can be directly attributed to human trafficking victimization and significant ignored.

Because of this, there is a need for more targeted emergency preparedness response systems that are coordinated, cooperative and consistent -- that includes recognizing, responding and reporting trauma and vulnerabilities directly related to human trafficking schemes and victimization to the public. Coordinating culturally informed, responsive and responsible services and support. Providing a consistent continuum of care that exists across professional disciplines and community partners that are not sitting on the task force.

Governmental leaders and agencies often identify price gouging in alerts and media notifications, however, first responders, (medical, mental health, law enforcement, social workers) fail to recognize the significant dangers of lurking above and beneath the surface of nearly every interaction. Response teams need to recognize all vulnerable populations including but not limited to those most discussed for trafficking (children/women) but also those least recognized; minorities, immigrants, refugees, homeless, veterans, returning citizens and persons with disabilities.

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Outline/Structure of the Interactive

Training and interactive

Learning Outcome

  • Identifying vulnerable populations of human trafficking victimization and trauma
  • Assess the feasibility of existing practices for serving victims of human trafficking once identified
  • Develop TIC Teams (Trauma-Informed-Care) to work with victims
  • Coordinate culturally responsive and responsible services of care for transmission
  • Develop appropriate mass media message for the public

Target Audience

medical, mental health, law enforcement, educators, social workers, organization/government leaders

Prerequisites for Attendees

None. However, persons with Emergency Preparedness, Risk Factor Assessment, Policies, and Practices of your development, first responder training are encouraged to attend.

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