American Hospital Association revises human trafficking resources for healthcare professionals

As many as 88 percent of human trafficking victims access healthcare services at some point during their situation, the Polaris Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to prevent sex trafficking, found. That number is the impetus driving the American Hospital Association's effort to revise human trafficking resources for healthcare professionals.

The updated resources, which it recently rolled out in partnership with Jones Day and Heal Trafficking, include guides to dispelling misconceptions around trafficking, how to spot who may be a victim in danger, legal reporting requirements and interviews with prominent medical leaders about combating the problem within their profession.   

These victims often experience various health conditions, ranging from sexually transmitted infections to malnourishment, as a result of the dangerous and vulnerable positions they are forced into, according to the Administration for Children and Families.

"Preventive healthcare is virtually non-existent for these individuals," a document from the ACF reads. "Health issues are typically not treated in their early stages, but tend to fester until they become critical, even life-endangering situations."

The combined complexity of sex trafficking along with the unique challenges of each individual victim's case can be intimidating for healthcare professionals, the Polaris Project detailed in a report on the matter. Because of this, "not every healthcare professional may feel equipped to identify the signs or address a trafficking survivor’s needs," the organization notes. 

What's also important for healthcare professionals to understand, Laura Castellanos, associate director at the AHA, said in an interview with the Voice of Nursing Leadership magazine, is that "no community, regardless of its size, is immune from trafficking."

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars