Although slavery, as we known, may have been abolished throughout most of the world, a different form of slavery is lurking in the shadows. There is an estimated 27 million people currently in modern day slavery around the world. There are currently more people in slavery today than in any given time in history. (Free the Slaves, 2013) These are men, women, and children living under horrid conditions, stripped of all human rights. Included in that number are one million children that are exploited by the global sex trade every year. In the United States there is an estimated number of 50,000 foreign nationals being trafficked in every year and 400,000 domestic minors involved in this trafficking. (Dovydaitis, 2009) These are alarming numbers and something must be done to fight this modern day slavery. Those in healthcare are really in a position to help fight these atrocities. Our job as healthcare providers should be to raise the awareness of these crimes, develop tools to identify those who might be victims of trafficking, and to push for policy that will help fight modern day slavery.
The Extent of the Problem
Human trafficking is a global health issue. There are currently twenty seven million people living in slavery around the world. There is a booming underground market for human trafficking that crosses all international borders. Although it may not be as evident in the United States, it is “the largest he United States is one of the largest market/destinations for trafficking in the world, second only to Germany. (Dovydaitis, 2009) Currently there is an estimated 400,000 domestic minors involved in trafficking, while 244,000 are considered at risk for exploitation. (Polaris Project, 2010) These children are forced...
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...fficking in Per
sons Program provides resources that help identify victims and assist them in getting help. This includes fact sheets, campaign tool kits for law enforcement, health care and social service providers, educational brochures and posters, and pocket assessment cards. These types of organization allow healthcare workers to initiate public awareness campaigns and public awareness is the first step to action. Healthcare workers should feel the responsibility to help those who are in need, and raising awareness of human trafficking is a step forward in addressing the issue.
2013 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws. (2014). Retrieved from Polaris Project
Dovydaitis, T. (2010). Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Care Provider. J Midwifery Womens Health, 462-467.
Free the Slaves. (2013). Retrieved from Slavery Today.