Human Trafficking: Finding a Safe Harbor for Victims – Nurse, Nurse Practitioner
All health care providers should have a basic understanding about how human trafficking can affect an individual, be able to recognize signs of trauma, and respond to these signs without causing re-traumatization in the trafficked victim. This issue explores considerations for identifying, questioning, and intervening in a situation that might involve human trafficking. Action steps that you can take to best identify and support victims of human trafficking are provided. Appropriate resources and public health approaches to combat human trafficking are also included. Human trafficking is a criminal human rights violation that occurs in nearly all nations. The United Nations defines trafficking as "the recruitment, transportation,transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power, or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.1"The US government simplifies the explanation to: "The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery." Slave traders in the 1700s and 1800s plied the waters between Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean; the history of the United States is also marred with tragic stories of slavery.