219472 Health Care and Human Trafficking

Monday, November 8, 2010

Deborah A. Mulligan, MD FAAP FACEP , Institute for Child Health Policy, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Robin Thompson, JD MA , Robin H Thompson and Associates, Senior Program Manager, Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, Tallahassee, FL
John Lanza, MD PhD MPH FAAP , Escambia County Health Department, Florida Department of Health, Pensacola, FL
Human trafficking, or modern-day slavery, is a largely unrecognized pandemic in today's world. The U.N. estimates that as many as four million people are victimized each year by traffickers. Florida is considered third in the U.S. in terms of the prevalence of human trafficking. Trafficking is a big business with estimated annual revenue of over $9.5 billion, and may soon surpass the revenues from the sale of illegal guns and drugs.

Healthcare professionals have a particularly important role to play in addressing human trafficking in their practice. There are some significant similarities between human trafficking and domestic violence and physicians can build upon their knowledge of domestic violence to be able to understand and assist victims of trafficking. In 2003, formerly trafficked people were interviewed by the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and told of their encounters with doctors in clinic settings. Their stories pointed to the need for further education of health care professionals so that they may be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking.

This realization has lead to the development of a continuing medical educational program that addresses the statutory requirements for domestic violence education and provides new and important information on human trafficking. The Florida Medical Association published a curriculum in February 2010 that provides background information and statistics, discusses the screening and charting of injuries, details physician duties and responsibilities, compares mandatory and non-mandatory reporting of injuries, and offers important information on resources available to the victims.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the pandemic of human trafficking and its impact on our society. Identify resources available to educate and inform health care professionals on how to recognize human trafficking in their practice.

Keywords: Medicine, Immigrant Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present as a pediatric emergency medicine physician; Institute for Child Health Policy Director; 2010 NSU International Child Health Forum on Human Trafficking Committee Chair and contributor to development of Florida Medical Association Module on Domestic Violence/Human Trafficking
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.