According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, human trafficking is a public health concern and often a violent crime that impacts individuals, families, and entire communities across generations. Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker exploits vulnerable victims with force, fraud, or coercion to make them perform commercial sex or work. Recognition of human trafficking victims requires training and a response from communities, social service providers, health care providers, and other first responders.
Since emergency nurses are often the first health care workers to have contact with human trafficking victims, the conversation and education on this topic has ramped up in recent years.
ENA Position Statement: Human Trafficking Patient Awareness in the Emergency Setting
Journal of Emergency Nursing study: Implementation of Human Trafficking Education and Treatment Algorithm in the Emergency Department
U.S. State Department's 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report