Expired CME Article

Human Trafficking and the Healthcare Professional

Authors: Jeffrey Barrows, DO, MA (Bioethics), Reginald Finger, MD, MPH

Abstract

Despite the legislation passed in the 19th century outlawing human slavery, it is more widespread today than at the conclusion of the civil war. Modern human slavery, termed human trafficking, comes in several forms. The most common type of human trafficking is sex trafficking, the sale of women and children into prostitution. Labor trafficking is the sale of men, women, and children into hard labor for which they receive little or no compensation. Other forms of trafficking include child soldiering, war brides, and organ removal. Healthcare professionals play a critical role in both finding victims of human trafficking while they are still in captivity, as well as caring for their mental and physical needs upon release. Those working in the healthcare profession need to be educated regarding how a trafficking victim may present, as well as their unique healthcare needs.


Key Points


* Modern slavery still exists in society under the name of human trafficking.


* Healthcare professionals are in the unique position to find and free these victims.


* Healthcare professionals also have a role in restoring the mental and physical health of those who survive human trafficking.


* To properly fulfill these roles, healthcare professionals must be educated regarding the phenomenon of human trafficking.

This content is limited to qualifying members.

Existing members, please login first.

If you have an existing account please login now to access this article or view your purchase options.

Purchase only this article ($15)

Create a free account, then purchase this article to download or access it online for 24 hours.

Purchase an SMJ online subscription ($75)

Create a free account, then purchase a subscription to get complete access to all articles for a full year.

Purchase a membership plan (fees vary)

Premium members can access all articles plus recieve many more benefits. View all membership plans and benefit packages.

References

1. Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, 3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73.
 
2. Amendment XIII, United States Constitution.
 
3. U.S. Congress. Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. Public Law 106–386, October 28, 2000.
 
4. International Labour Office. A Global Alliance Against Forced Labour. Geneva, International Labour Office, 2005. Available at: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/declaris/DECLARATIONWEB.DOWNLOAD_BLOB?Var_DocumentID=5059. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
5. Stewart DE, Gajic-Veljanoski O. Trafficking in women: the Canadian perspective. CMAJ 2005;173:25–26.
 
6. The Salvation Army. What is human trafficking? Available at:http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn.nsf/vw-sublinks/8203847F6_BA996E585256F25005D5274?openDocument.Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
7. Lewis L. Diplomatic abuse of servants hard to prosecute. National Public Radio, 2007. Available at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7672967. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
8. O’Neill RA. International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime. Washington, DC, Center for the Study of Intelligence, 1999. Available at: http://www.johnbriere.com/CIA%20trafficking%20monograph.pdf. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
9. USINFO. Bush administration takes new steps to combat human trafficking. 2004. Available at: http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2004/july/20040716123438AJesroM0.601864.html. Accessed March19, 2008.
 
10. U.S. Department of State. Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000: Trafficking in Persons Report 2007. Available at: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
11. Edwards J, Iritani B, Hallfors D. Prevalence and correlates of exchanging sex for drugs or money among adolescents in the United States. Sex Transm Infect 2006;82:354–358.
 
12. Estes RJ, Weiner NA. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania, 2001. Available at: http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/∼restes/CSEC_Files/Complete_CSEC_020220.pdf. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
13. Family Violence Prevention Fund, World Childhood Foundation. Turning Pain into Power: Trafficking Survivors’ Perspectives on Early Intervention Strategies. San Francisco, CA, 2005. Available at: http://www.endabuse.org/programs/immigrant/files/PaintoPower.pdf. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
14. Chisolm-Strike M, Richardson L. Assessment of emergency department provider knowledge about human trafficking victims in the ED. Acad Emerg Med 2007;14(suppl1):134.
 
15. The Campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking. Identifying and interacting with victims of human trafficking. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/campaign_kits/tool_kit_health/identify_victims.html. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
16. Zimmerman C, Yun K, Watts C, et al. The Health Risks and Consequences of Trafficking in Women and Adolescents. Findings From a European Study. London, UK, LSHTM, 2003. Available at: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/hpu/docs/traffickingfinal.pdf. Accessed October 16, 2007.
 
17. Zimmerman C, Hossain M, Yun K, et al. Stolen Smiles: A Summary Report on the Physical and Psychological Health Consequences of Women and Adolescents Trafficked in Europe. London, UK, LSHTM, 2006. Available at: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/hpu/docs/Stolen%20Smiles%20-%20Trafficking%20and%20Health%20(2006).pdf. Accessed March 19, 2008.
 
18. Willis BM, Levy BS. Child prostitution: global health burden, research needs, and interventions. Lancet 2002;359:1417–1422.
 
19. Silverman JG, Decker MR, Gupta J, et al. HIV prevalence and predictors of infection in sex-trafficked Nepalese girls and women. JAMA 2007;298:536–542.
 
20. Daily Champion. Nigeria: victims of human trafficking contract AIDS. Published online August 16, 2007. Available at: http://allafrica.com/stories/200708160019.html. Accessed August 17, 2007.
 
21. Silverman JG, Decker MR, Gupta J, et al. HIV prevalence and predictors among rescued sex-trafficked women and girls in Mumbai, India. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2006;43:588–593.
 
22. Farley M (ed). Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress. New York, The Haworth Press, 2003.