Human Trafficking in the Health Care Setting
Filling the Gap—Training Personnel, Implementing an Effective Protocol
Human trafficking in my clinic? In my hospital? What was once believed to be a problem in other counties is quickly met with the realization that human trafficking victims are being hidden in plain sight in the healthcare setting throughout the United States.
- 88% of sex trafficking victims come in contact with healthcare personnel while being trafficked¹
- Less than 5% of ER staff is trained to respond to a human trafficking victim²
- 60% of human trafficking in the U.S. is labor trafficking³
- Average age of entry into sex trafficking is 13 years old for a girl and 11 years old for a boy⁴
“Trafficking can only exist in an atmosphere of public, professional, and academic indifference.” ⁵
Reclaim611, led by Founder and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships,Candace Rich, RN, MSN, CPNP, refuses to be indifferent to the atrocities of human trafficking hidden in plain sight in our patient population and will seek justice through education and protocol implementation. While some non-governmental and governmental agencies have created training for human trafficking awareness for health care providers, few have protocol implementation. Reclaim611 found a gap that exists between training for awareness and training to prepare personnel to respond appropriately to the complex needs of human trafficking victims.
With this deficiency in mind, Reclaim611 has developed evidence-based training and a systematic protocol for human trafficking in the health care setting to ensure appropriate, safe, and effective response. Reclaim611’s in-depth training and protocol incorporates resources from; Physician’s Against the Trafficking of Humans (P.A.T.H.), Polaris Project, Shared Hope International’s i: CARE, HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and an extensive review of literature. As well as collaborative efforts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas Department of Public Safety Human Trafficking Division, Dallas Police Department VICE Unit, Fort Worth Police Department Human Trafficking Task Force, Mosaic Family Services, and Traffick911.
While we recognize that a minority of health care settings have implemented a protocol to respond to human trafficking victims, we believe human trafficking protocol should be as fluent as child abuse, stroke, DKA (Diabetic ketoacidosis), and other well-known protocols in the healthcare setting.
Contact: Candace Rich, RN, MSN, CPNP at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reclaim611, a Dallas, Texas based anti-human trafficking non-profit organization, focused on the development of protocol responsive training for health care, law enforcement and school based systems.
¹ Lederer, L.J., & Wetzel, C.A. (2014, Winter). The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking. Annals of Health Law, 23(1).
² Chisom-Straker, M., Richardson, L.D., & Cossio, T. (2012). Combating Slavery in the 21st Century: The Role of Emergency Medicine. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 23(3) 980-987.
³ Polaris. (2017, March). The Typology of Modern Slavery Refining Sex and Labor Trafficking in the United States.
⁴ U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Blue Campaign. (n.d.). Human Trafficking 101 for School Administrators and Staff.
⁵ Dovydaitis, T. (2010). Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Care Provider. Journal of Midwifery Women’s Health, 55(5) 462-467.