Human Trafficking for Healthcare Providers
Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and a major public health problem both domestically and internationally. The states of Florida and Michigan now require registered nurses to complete training and education to help identify and report victim activity. Case managers, nurses and social workers are often the first professionals to interact with victims of human trafficking in hospital emergency rooms and health care settings. Through early identification, healthcare professionals are learning to look for signs of trafficking and learning how to treat potential victims with respect and without judgment and discrimination.
Trafficking affects the most vulnerable individuals, those with disabilities, substance use concerns or intellectual and developmental disabilities. Substance use and drug debts are used to coerce victims into the sex trade or various forms of forced labor. Foreign victims are misled into labor trafficking with visa contracts. Trafficked victims can be found in the healthcare workforce; in residential care facilities, nursing homes as home health aides and domestics.
Every health care professional should be equipped to identify the physical and emotional signs of a trafficking victim. The newly enacted (2) hour Human Trafficking training for Florida RN’s, gives transparency to the unscrupulous practices of human trafficking and teaches nurses and case managers how to proactively seek education and resources to become better equipped in identifying and responding to potential trafficking victims in our care.