Human trafficking is a global issue, and anyone from any country can become a victim. Here in the United States, there were more than 8,500 tips to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2017, nearly 25% of which involved children and youth.
Unfortunately, trafficked persons often go unnoticed. A 2014 study published in the Annals of Health Law found that nearly 88 percent of participants identifying as sex trafficking survivors had some contact with health care while being exploited (Lederer and Wetzel).
A 2017 survey report from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) found that over half of labor and sex trafficking survivors surveyed had accessed health care at least once while being trafficked. Nearly 97 percent indicated they had never been provided with information or resources about human trafficking while visiting the health care provider.
These studies underscore the reality that medical care providers are often unprepared to identify and appropriately respond to trafficked persons.
This presentation will describe misconceptions and definitions associated with human trafficking, prevalence of the crime, common red flags in the health care setting, and recommended action steps when red flags are observed by health care workers. The presenters will also share their own experiences of being trafficked as a way to inform health care providers about how to respond.
This presentation will describe a “trauma-informed approach” and how to apply this approach to violence prevention and intervention efforts in a health care setting. This presentation will also describe the PEARR Tool, a tool developed by Dignity Health in collaboration with HEAL Trafficking, to provide guidance to health care professionals regarding intervention services for patients who may be victims/survivors of abuse, neglect, or violence.
Physicians will describe best practices and outpatient clinic-based models for providing longitudinal health services to survivors of sex and labor trafficking. Models include (1) a primary care model through federally qualified community health centers via a prevention framework, and (2) a primary care model through a family medicine residency program that engages physicians trained in trauma-informed care. Target audience: Physicians, social workers, and other health care providers.
A public health lens informs who intervenes and engages in the efforts to fight human trafficking and expands the constituents who need to be engaged in efforts to end commercial sexual exploitation. A public health framework recognizes the detriments to health and wellbeing that may lead to the crisis moment of buying or selling sex. A public health lens affords an opportunity to focus efforts on the highest risk populations instead of a one size fits all approach to the problem. It recognizes commercial sexual exploitation along a spectrum of inter-related violence and trauma, and encourages culturally specific prevention and intervention efforts. Target audience: Public health and health care professionals and partners.
The YES survey continues to provide insight into the challenges and needs of homeless and runaway youth. For the first time, the 2017 YES survey looked at labor trafficking and found 32% of homeless youth reported being labor trafficked. Trends also indicate, year after year, that 1 in 3 homeless youth has experienced sex trafficking. Drug use, alcohol use, suicide attempt, self-harm, sexual abuse, mental health diagnosis, history of depression, PTSD, and untreated health problems are just some of the issues faced by this underserved population that may present in a health care setting. Target Audience: Public health and health care professionals, including first responders. Target Audience: All public health and health care professionals, including health care and first responders.
Law enforcement officers are key community partners in victim identification and response efforts in the health care setting. At Dignity Health, each internal multidisciplinary Task Force collaborates with law enforcement and other community stakeholders to learn about local trends and to debrief on cases as needed. In this workshop hear from local law enforcement officers about trends of trafficking in Arizona including vulnerable patient populations, presence of gang involvement, use of tattoos and local cases. The presenters will also address what to expect in the event law enforcement is called to the health care entity – and how to collaborate with officers in ongoing efforts. Target audience: All public health and health care professionals and partners.
Collaboration between hospitals and community partners is essential. It can strengthen a health system’s response to victims of abuse, neglect, and violence and the community’s capacity to provide services to survivors. Community health staff will share the impact of building partnerships with community-based organizations and first responders as well as internal philanthropy and communications teams at the hospital. Target audience: Health care professionals, particularly those in community health, communications, and philanthropy; also community-based organizations and first responders.
Dignity Health teams will present actual cases in which a patient was identified in a hospital setting as a potential victim of human trafficking. Teams include the facility’s Task Force Leads and key staff involved with the case, e.g., security officers, social workers, chaplains, nurses, patient registration staff, and physicians. Target audience: Health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, and social workers.
Indian Country Todayreports “Over the next few years, human trafficking will become one of the top three crimes against Native women.” Native women and youth, girls and boys, are vulnerable to traffickers. In this workshop, participants will hear an overview of sex and labor trafficking in Indian Country, including common control tactics and indicators of victimization. Participants will be educated and empowered to make a difference in their communities and in the lives of those affected by exploitation. Participants will be equipped to recognize and respond to victims, and provide longitudinal health services, using effective and culturally-appropriate techniques. Target audience: All public health and health care professionals.
The power of addiction in human trafficking has been recognized by the criminal justice system. Addiction can exacerbate a trafficked person’s vulnerability, be part of a trafficker’s means of coercing the captive person to submit, be a tool the trafficker uses to control the captive, and can be used by the captive person as a means of coping with the physical and mental traumas of being trafficked. Opioids in particular are an effective coercion tool for traffickers. Some traffickers recruit directly from substance use treatment facilities. This session dispels myths about both addiction and human trafficking, and provides survivor-informed, evidence-based information and trauma-informed recommendations and resources for service providers.
Learn about a revolutionary collaboration between a regional behavioral health authority, a survivor leader and a local police department working together to create a successful outcome for trafficked youth. This breakout will include how a protocol creation combined with multi-disciplinary case reviews, mentorship and victim advocacy further the healing of these youth. Target Audience: Public health and health care professionals.
As an EMS provider, chances are you have treated a victim of human trafficking and did not recognize it. EMS providers are often the first health care professionals to set eyes on victims. This workshop will teach EMS providers and other emergency medical providers how to identify risk factors and red flags of human trafficking, including both physical and sexual health indicators, and how to communicate concerns to emergency department staff. This workshop will include actual cases from Dignity Health that involved EMS providers. Target Audience: First responders, hospital professionals.
This presentation will provide an insightful look at how victims face their daily lives. Topics include how to effectively develop strategies and tactics for identifying and engaging with male and LGBTQ victims; misconceptions regarding the intersectionality of male sexual orientation and gender expression; toxic masculinity; and how to divert future criminal involvement and other unhealthy behaviors.
Caring for victims of abuse, neglect, and violence, including human trafficking, can leave a significant impact on health care workers. This expert panel will present concepts behind compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and primary and secondary trauma. The panel will discuss research describing the consequences of secondary trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout as well as programs in place for nurses, physicians, and other health care workers. Panelists will share plans at Dignity Health to improve the work environment and increase personal resilience for employees.
Health care professionals can help to prevent exploitation from occurring within their systems and surrounding communities. For example, in this workshop, Peter Qualliotine will describe strategies to educate male staff, patients, and visitors about various topics that can help to prevent commercial sexual exploitation, including gender socialization, violence against women, and the oppression of pornography and prostitution. Target audience: Health care professionals, including physicians.
This workshop will offer an overview of human trafficking, particularly labor trafficking, of foreign nationals in the United States. This includes the recruitment process, red flags that may indicate victimization, and common health effects. The presenters will also discuss the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC’s) Anti Trafficking program, including services available. With locations across the country, IRC can support foreign national victims identified in the health care setting.