Healthcare professionals are asked to not only recognize indicators of human trafficking, but to know how to respond to such signs. A victim-centric approach is suggested. Meeting basic needs, reassuring potential victims, building trust, being conscious of language, remaining sensitive to power dynamics and avoiding retraumatization are all advised.
Protocols also may indicate different approaches in how to respond. If mandated reporting is warranted or the patient wishes to report, professionals are advised to report to the designated contact or contact the NHTRC Hotline. If reporting is not warranted and the patient does not wish to report, it is then advised to provide referrals and contact the NHTRC Hotline. Assessments should be done individually in safe locations, as well as with language that avoids asking for unnecessary information.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline can be reached at 1-888-373-7888. It is a 24/7, toll-free, and confidential service. Medical providers are advised to follow relevant HIPAA guidelines on protected health information when calling into the hotline regarding a tip. As well, the NHTRC advises healthcare professionals to coordinate offered care with other care service providers, from basic care like housing and transportation to legal services and emotional or social services like social service advocacy or life skills and job training.
At Aculabs, we understand and acknowledge our ethical obligations as medical and clinical professionals. We ensure that all of our mobile technologists who enter resident facilities are aware of and understand the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s guidelines on how to recognize and respond to human trafficking.
You can find additional resources and links below:
ACCESS THE NHTRC INFORMATION PACKET IN .PDF FORMAT.
WATCH THE NHTRC AUDIO SLIDESHOW AT THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE.