Victims of human trafficking are ‘hiding in plain sight’
It’s hard to believe that in the year 2017 we’re still talking about human trafficking, but we are.
The question is what to do about it? The difficulty is sometimes identifying the problem.
Dr. Hanni Stoklosa, an emergency department physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and instructor in emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School, is teaching physicians to be alert.
“In many ways, victims of trafficking are hiding in plain site in our health care settings,” she told me. “And there is good data to suggest sixty-six to eighty-eight percent of trafficking survivors in the U.S. interface with health care at some point during exploitation. That gives us an opportunity to interrupt their cycle of violence.”
So what do they look for?
Dr. Stoklosa says there is often some evidence of someone else controlling a victim’s life. A lack of documents is another red flag. And, of course, the reasons they ask for care often has to do with being trafficked.
Stoklosa says they identify one to two victims a month at her hospital.
Listen to the entire conversation below.