This portion of the website is specifically designed for providers currently seeing a patient they suspect is a victim of human trafficking. Providers can use their experience, the knowledge of their colleagues, and this page to determine if a patient may be a victim of human trafficking.

 

If you suspect or confirm that your patient is a victim of human trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888.

 

 

1. Populations at Risk in the U.S.

2. Signs and Symptoms

3. Differential Diagnoses

4. Treatment Recommendations

 

1. Populations at Risk in the U.S.

 

  • U.S. citizens and residents
  • documented and undocumented immigrants
  • 80% are and children (note this does not exclude as potential victims)
  • youth, esp. runaways
  • persons involved in forced labor:
    • domestic servitude (domestic work and child care)
    • restaurant worker
    • nail salon workers
    • hotel housekeeping workers
    • manual labor workers:
      • factory workers
      • construction workers
      • sweatshop workers
      • farm workers
      • landscape workers (eg: gardeners)
  • persons involved in sex work:
    • prostitutes
    • pornography actors
    • “mail order brides”
    • ANY minor doing sex work
    • “exotic” dancers and/or strippers
    • persons working in massage parlors, hostess clubs, brothels, escort services, commercial phone sex & internet dating

 

2. Signs and Symptoms

 

  • lack of knowledge of a given community/whereabouts
  • not in control of personal ID
  • few to no personal possessions
  • does not speak
  • 3rd party insists on being present or interpreting
  • injuries (multiple, old & new)
  • signs of malnourishment
  • branding
  • no healthcare insurance
  • under 18 & in sex industry – DE FACTO
  • claim of “just visiting”
  • inconsistent story
  • behavior change when “law enforcement” is mentioned (if you suspect human trafficking, you should not mention law enforcement, as the patient is less likely to feel safe disclosing his/her status to you)
  • STIs
  • bacterial &/or yeast infxns
  • demeanor (e.g.: fearful, anxious, submissive, flat affect)

 

3. Differential Diagnoses

 

  • intimate partner violence
  • rape
  • child abuse

 

4. Treatment Recommendations

 

  • gain the patient’s trust
  • reassure the potential victim that you will not call the police
  • interview the patient alone (use a licensed interpreter if necessary)
  • specifically ask about the patient’s safety
  • offer reworded stories (to uncover inconsistencies)
  • stay calm & even-keel
  • document your suspicion in your notes
  • specifically for sexually exploited trafficked patients:

presumptive treatment for:

          • gonorrhea
          • chlamydia
          • trichomoniasis
          • syphillis
          • UTI
  • Call a help hotline, if you suspect or confirm the patient is a trafficking victim (or contact social work for a local anti-trafficking organization):
    • English: 1-888-373-7888
    • Korean: 1-888-967-5246
    • Spanish: 1-888-80-AYUDA