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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Health Care and Human Trafficking: We Are Seeing the Unseen

Chisolm-Straker, M., Baldwin, S., Ga?gbé-Togbé, B., Ndukwe, N., Johnson, P.N., Richardson, L.D.
Type new
Journal Article
Year published new
Journal Name

Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved


This journal article describes an anonymous, retrospective study conducted to build the evidence base around human trafficking and health in the US. It aimed to quantify the frequency with which trafficked young people encounter health providers in the US and sought to describe the health care settings most frequently by victims of human trafficking, whether their situations are recognized by providers, and which expert-recommended screening questions are being used. Of the 173 participants, all of whom were survivors of US-based human trafficking, 68 percent were seen by a healthcare provider while being trafficked. Respondents most frequently reported visiting emergency/urgent care practitioners (56 percent), followed by primary care providers, dentists, and obstetricians/gynecologists. The authors conclude that while health care providers are serving this patient population, they do not consistently identify them as victims of human trafficking. These findings suggest a need for systematic training of healthcare providers in these specialties to improve their ability to identify and appropriately treat these vulnerable patients. (author abstract modified)


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Accession number
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue