The United Nations has warned that Human Trafficking of Girls in the United States is on the rise. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/human-trafficking-girls-un-report-sexual-exploitation-primary-motivation/
As an expert in Human Trafficking Education of Health Care Professionals, I ask myself every single day what is it going to take to get the American people to wake up and face down this horrific crime?
It is very true that Human Trafficking is a global problem, however it is also occurring every single day right here in the United States of America — in all fifty states.
The 2018 Global Report on Trafficking In Persons states that Girls more than Boys are being trafficked. https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/2018/GLOTiP_2018_BOOK_web_small.pdf
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is the fastest growing crime in the United States. It is occurring at rate of staggering proportions, but many American people are more interested in sports and the Kardashians. Meanwhile, some underage teen girl in the United States is being pimped out for sex to a sick, twisted individual who is as likely as not to be Caucasian and married! Can you imagine how awful that child must feel being sold for sex?
What’s to be done?
Our local, county, & federal Law Enforcement agencies are running investigations, coordinating human trafficking task forces, and conducting police sting operations. But Law Enforcement alone cannot and will not be able to successfully combat Sex Trafficking by itself.
Educating Healthcare Professionals
It is a verifiable fact that 88% of Human Trafficking Victims have come in contact with Health care Professional while in captivity. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2017) Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Children and Adolescents: A Narrative Review “Another study of adolescent and adult female sex trafficking survivors revealed that nearly 88% had sought medical care during their period of exploitation.” Due to the extremely high likelihood that victims of human trafficking will, at some point, require medical care, there is a significant need for Emergency Departments, and indeed, all health care facilities in the U.S., in communities both large and small and of every economic status, to urgently address this issue.
There are an abundance of Human Trafficking courses and other informational and training material created by a number of NGOs and other organizations. Unfortunately, they are nearly uniformly cursory or introductory in nature, and are not sufficient to the task a health provider needs to successfully address this issue. Training Heath care Professionals in Human Trafficking Victim Identification takes a whole lot more education than having someone watch a training video. If you doubt this is accurate, than by comparison, watch a training video on any healthcare subject matter of comparable complexity and honestly assess how proficient your are at the end of the video!
Human Trafficking Response Program for Health Care Systems
To combat human trafficking through the education of healthcare professionals, HTRSD.ORG and HTITI.ORG jointly developed the Human Trafficking Response Program for Health Care Systems, which is fundamentally different than virtually any other training currently available, addressing the full-spectrum of the issue to create policies and procedures, deliver on-site and on-demand learning, and extensive consultation and development capabilities to develop an initiative that will educate and empower administrators, nurses, physicians, and security personnel to effectively address this pressing public health issue. https://htrsd.org/human-trafficking-response-program/
The American Hospital Association implemented ICD-10 Codes for Human Trafficking Victim Abus,e and there is a concomitant interest from the legal litigation community into this area. With that said, it is only a matter of time where serious liabilities, potentially ranging into the millions of dollars will not simply be a possibility, but an inevitability.
If you are serious about getting your healthcare professionals the substantive training to identify Human Trafficking Victims coming into your facility for care and you wish to avoid a potentially embarrassing medicolegal disaster, than please don’t hesitate to call or email the HTRSD.ORG Team to set up a conference call or meeting.
We are dedicated to doing something right now about human trafficking in the health care sector, and hope we can be part of your efforts to do the same.