Research shows that human trafficking victims often visit a health care provider at some point while being trafficked. But research also shows that they are unlikely to be identified as victims during these encounters or feel they can speak up to self identify. And individuals who experience trafficking often have a range of health issues due to their experience even after they escape. In addition, individuals with ongoing health concerns and/or disabilities can be particularly vulnerable to traffickers.
Health care professionals can lack the knowledge to identify the signs of human trafficking or effectively and sensitively address a trafficking survivor’s needs. The tools below provide resources and information for those interested in learning about the intersection of healthcare and human trafficking. If you want to learn more, HEAL Trafficking is an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking from a public health perspective.