Improving Prevention and Survivor Outcomes: Resources for Human Trafficking Victims, Healthcare Workers and Colleges

Last Updated/Verified: May 14, 2024

Judy Daniels, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC | Updated/Verified: May 10, 2024

A severe problem hiding in plain sight, human trafficking affects millions of people around the world – including many in our very own communities. It’s estimated that around 50 million people were victims of human trafficking in 2021 alone, with more than 10,000 situations reported to the United States Human Trafficking Hotline in this same year. The numbers, sadly, continue to rise.

Human trafficking is the illegal act of forcing people to work or perform other actions against their will. In some cases, it even involves forced marriage. It’s modern slavery, affecting people of all ages, nationalities, sexes, and backgrounds. Why should you care? Because human trafficking doesn’t just happen “somewhere else.” It can happen in our cities and our neighborhoods. Statistics show that many victims come into contact with healthcare professionals or are in school settings at some point during their situation, putting educators and healthcare workers in a unique position to help. Multiple studies have found that up to 88% of victims of human trafficking come into contact with the healthcare system while being trafficked.

Up to 88% of victims had come into contact wit the healthcare system while being trafficked.

By sharing this information, we hope to empower you with the vital knowledge to recognize the signs and how to lend a helping hand. Together, we can make our communities safer for everyone.

Healthcare Worker Resources

Improving Identification of Patients At Risk for Human Trafficking

The Children’s Hospital Association released a safety alert that includes the signs of young trafficking victims and how healthcare professionals can identify them.

Anti-Trafficking Resources for Healthcare

Use the multiple videos on this site to learn more about human trafficking as they tackle topics like how to support and help survivors and the signs of trafficking.

Combating Human Trafficking

The American Hospital Association offers free digital toolkits in English and Spanish, tips on how to talk to victims and survivors, and other resources.

Health Care Providers

Available from the Office of Trafficking in Persons, this page looks at the type of healthcare victims seek or need and where medical professionals can go for help.

The Role of Healthcare Providers in Combating Human Trafficking During Disasters

Human trafficking commonly happens during disaster situations, and the ASRP offers infographics and other resources for providers who want to help.

Assessing Healthcare Provider Knowledge of Human Trafficking

The researchers behind this study sent surveys to healthcare professionals to test their knowledge about human trafficking and then compiled the results.

Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Care Provider

Discover what you need to know about human trafficking as a healthcare professional and how you can support any victims you encounter in this piece.

Victims of Human Trafficking Going Undetected in Healthcare Settings

Two medical professionals worked on this article to help others understand why trafficking victims often go undetected and what medical workers can do.

Medical Education on Human Trafficking

The AMA Journal of Ethics published this article, which looks at current and past research to show why medical professionals need more training to address the issue.

Medical Fact Sheet

Designed for healthcare professionals, this PDF helps you see some of the lessons learned by medical professionals based on their experiences with trafficking victims.

Prevention

20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking

The 20 tips on this list are easy enough for anyone to do, and they include a hotline you can call if you believe someone is a victim and fundraising ideas.

Human Trafficking Prevention

Learn what human trafficking is, who is behind the issue, the red flags to watch for, and much more on this page from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Ten Things You Can Do to Help Stop Human Trafficking

Learn who to call when you meet someone in need of help, learn how to take action in your community, and find other helpful tips to fight back against human trafficking.

Preventing Human Trafficking: Resources for Physicians

Doctors will find short descriptions of the various resources on this page, such as the AMA Code of Medical Ethics and AMA policies.

Preventing Human Trafficking Using Data-Driven, Community-Based Strategies

Community Psychology looks at the different ways to prevent human trafficking at the local, neighborhood, family, and societal levels.

6 Measures to Prevent Human Trafficking Within Your Organization

The six measures listed here are suitable for all organizations and include how to raise awareness in your community and when to use a helpline.

CTIP Student Guide to Preventing Human Trafficking

Though designed for students, this guide also includes information for parents who want to prevent and stop human trafficking in their areas.

Technology and Human Trafficking: Avoid the Trap!

The UN offers a range of tips on how you can prevent human trafficking online, such as using strong privacy settings and flagging any harmful content you see.

Prevention, Prosecution, and Protection – Human Trafficking

Also, this article from the UN looks at some of the modern and lesser-known types of human trafficking and the prevention, prosecution, and protection needed.

Prevent Human Trafficking

Use this website to learn practical tips you can use to prevent human trafficking in your area and what to do if you think you see some of the signs of trafficking.

The highest percentage of female victims can be found in the 18-20 age group.


Articles

Human Trafficking and the Healthcare Industry

Polaris found that more than 80% of human trafficking victims seek healthcare support and share information on what those workers can do to help them.

Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking in a Healthcare Context

Learn how to recognize trafficking victims in healthcare settings and how to assist them along with other useful tips in this article from a major national organization.

Healthcare Provider Challenges to the Identification of Human Trafficking in Healthcare Settings: A Qualitative Setting

This study interviewed more than 40 healthcare workers in Houston to uncover the themes and challenges they faced in identifying victims in healthcare settings.

Human Trafficking: Review of Educational Resources for Health Professionals

The authors of this study reviewed the educational resources available to healthcare professionals to guide them in what they should and should not do.

Health Care and Human Trafficking: We are Seeing the Unseen

Published in 2016, this study involved more than 100 human trafficking victims to talk about their health needs and how often they sought medical attention.

Engaging Survivors of Human Trafficking: Complex Health Care Needs and Scarce Resources

Learn why human trafficking is a human rights violation in this piece, which also looks at the limited resources for healthcare professionals who work with victims.

Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Care Provider

Learn more about the healthcare provider’s role in this piece and how you can help the victims you encounter on the job.

Multi-Level Prevention of Human Trafficking: The Role of Health Care Professionals

Discover how healthcare professionals can spot the signs of human trafficking among their patients and how to prevent trafficking in this article.

Systematic Review of Facilitators of, Barriers to, and Recommendations for Healthcare Services for Child Survivors of Human Trafficking Globally

This article reviewed dozens of studies from 2010 that looked at the trafficking of children before writing the results that it found in a simple format.

Human Trafficking: A Health Care Perspective

Read through this article to learn about the healthcare needs of trafficking victims and what medical professionals can do in various situations.

Educating Health Care Professionals on Human Trafficking

Twenty emergency departments (EDs) underwent extensive training to educate them on human trafficking, and the results are shown in this study.

Training US Health Care Professionals on Human Trafficking: Where Do We Go From Here?

Read the results of this study to learn about the lack of education medical professionals receive about human trafficking and the type of training they’ll need in the future.

Organizations

Polaris Project

The Polaris Project gives hope to trafficking victims and survivors through information about human trafficking along with research into the subject and public awareness campaigns.

Operation Underground Railroad

Taking a page from the Underground Railroad, the OUR fights to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation through programs that helped save more than 7,000 people.

Freedom Network USA

Freedom Network USA is a significant coalition comprised of legal professionals and others who offer training and run advocacy programs to end human trafficking.

National Human Trafficking Hotline

This hotline has people ready to answer the phones 24/7 to help victims and assist those who believe they saw human trafficking in their areas.

Selah Freedom

Located in the Midwest and Florida, this organization offers programs that include raising awareness of the topic and teaching prevention methods to others.

The Exodus Road

The Exodus Road shares real stories from human trafficking survivors and helps you learn about the organization’s work in the US and other nations.

Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage

Better known as HEAL, this nonprofit offers counseling for survivors and victims, resources like a digital toolkit, and speakers who will come to your community.

Center for Prevention of Abuse

The Center for Prevention of Abuse believes in stopping all forms of abuse through free resources for those who want to help others and those who need immediate help.

Administration for Children & Families Office on Trafficking in Persons

This organization wants to inform and educate the general public on human trafficking, which it does through an academy and special programs for survivors.

Alliance to End Human Trafficking

The Alliance to End Human Trafficking offers a ton of resources and services that include some, like counseling and educational programs for survivors.

Collaborative to End Human Trafficking

Find free online resources from this organization and programs for survivors and others that provide them with free training and education.

United Against Human Trafficking

Join United Against Human Trafficking to learn about their direct programs, as well as those designed to help young people avoid human trafficking situations.

Books

Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight

Stephanie Hepburn and Rita J. Simon collaborated on Human Trafficking Around the World, which talks about organ trafficking, sex tourism, and other trafficking methods.

Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale

Rachel Lloyd wrote her memoir to share her experiences as a trafficking victim in the hopes of getting others to realize the severity of the problem and how they can help.

Disposable People

In Disposable People, author Kevin Bales discusses the issue of new slavery to show readers that it’s a form of human trafficking that still exists today.

Sold

Patricia McCormick wrote the award-winning book Sold, which uses vignettes to describe the horrors a young girl went through as a victim of trafficking.

Human Trafficking: The Complexities of Exploitation

The editors behind this book explain the basics of human trafficking and exploitation as they discuss how and why the issue exists despite legislation around the world.

Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor

Katariina Rosenblatt is a victim of sex trafficking who shares her story in this memoir to help other young girls avoid following her path.

In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It

Nita Belles met with survivors of human trafficking and shared their stories in this book, which attempts to find solutions to the problem.

Sex Trafficking in the United States: Theory, Research, Policy, and Practice

Andrea J. Nichols focuses on why some people become victims of sex trafficking in the US and the challenges they face when they try to escape.

The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking

The author of this book describes the white umbrella as the help given to victims and explains how anyone can help someone exploited by another.

Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

In this book, Raleigh Sadler explores the common victims of human trafficking and encourages others to take a stand and understand their role in the problem.

College students are vulnerable to human trafficking due to several factors: first time living away from home, financial exploitation due to financial hardship, lack of support networks, substance use or misuse, and immigration status.

College Students

Human Trafficking Response Guide for Campus Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officials

Available as a PDF, this guide talks about how exploiters find their victims and what they do, as well as how those in security positions on college campuses can prevent trafficking.

Human Trafficking on College Campuses: What it Looks Like and Resources for Police, Students

Campus Safety worked with Maraya Lasinsky to go over what human trafficking looks like and how both police and students can find out more.

Human Trafficking – Higher Education

In this piece, you’ll find out why human trafficking is so common on some campuses and what resources are available from major organizations.

Campus Human Trafficking Prevention Toolkit

Released by an organization in North Carolina, this toolkit offers practical information, such as the myths behind human trafficking and the trades where it’s the most common.

Student Shares Sex Trafficking Story to Raise Awareness, Help Students

Read about Sarah here, a victim of sex trafficking who made her way out and spoke to students at the University of South Carolina about her experiences.

Do College Students Have a Lack of Awareness Around Human Trafficking?

In her thesis, Tessa Cavender discusses the lack of awareness college students have about human trafficking and what it might mean for their futures.

College & University Toolkit

From Blue Campaign, this toolkit supplies college and university students with tips on how they can raise awareness of trafficking and protect other students.

Helping Your College Student Recognize Human Traffickers

Mind Site News created a simple article to help parents talk with their kids about human trafficking on college campuses and how they can stay safe.

Yes, College Students Can Be Human Trafficking Victims

Karley Gordon describes how college students become trafficking victims and addresses the red flags that should make them think twice when meeting new people.

College Days: America’s College Students Face Threat of Sex Trafficking

A member of an anti-trafficking organization spoke with the author of this piece to talk about how traffickers find victims on college campuses.

Videos

What is Human Trafficking?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security hosts this video, which goes over the basics of human trafficking and its effects on the world at large.

Human Trafficking – The Signs

Learn about the signs of human trafficking and those you might miss in this video from the Peel Regional Police, which is just over three minutes long.

Unchained: The Scourge of Human Trafficking

David Strathairn narrates this 26-minute video that looks at the dangers of human trafficking and shares stories from survivors who escaped.

Human Trafficking Awareness at Airports

In just five minutes, this video shows you how to spot the signs of human trafficking when you travel for work or fun and pass through airports.

Human Trafficking Truck Stop Animated Video

Another video from Homeland Security, this one shows how human trafficking can occur at a truck stop and what viewers should do next.

Human Trafficking Survivor Stories

Amanda and Carrie are just a few of the human trafficking survivors who shared their stories in this video to help others escape similar situations.

Faces of Human Trafficking: An Introduction

The Office for Victims of Crime wants to help you put a face to the name of trafficking survivors, which is why it posted this video where survivors talk about their experiences.

FBI Seattle Discusses the Myths of Human Trafficking

You can watch this video online and download a copy to hear members of the Seattle FBI go over some of the common myths associated with human trafficking.

Podcasts

Trafficked

In this podcast, WYSO Public Media discusses the work that advocates do to raise awareness of human trafficking using their limited resources.

Ending Human Trafficking

Dr. Sandra Morgan hosts the Ending Human Trafficking podcast, which has more than 300 episodes dedicated to topics like how to keep kids safe online.

Mobilizing the Fight Against Human Trafficking

The human trafficking problem in Houston and its possible solutions, along with the connection between trafficking and foster care, are issues addressed in this podcast.

Insight Into Human Trafficking

This podcast from the University of Notre Dame offers insights from a professor in the university’s business department on why human trafficking exists.

Ending Human Trafficking

The Global Center for Women and Justice launched Ending Human Trafficking to cover all aspects of human trafficking through discussions with leading professionals.

Human Trafficking – True Crime

Listen to stories of genuine human trafficking victims who share their stories with this podcast to discover the traumatic experiences they had.

Trafficked: The Trap: Part One

Many people have a hard time understanding how people become victims of human trafficking, but this podcast goes over the traps they set to attract them.

Ending Human Trafficking

With more than 300 episodes, this podcast covers dozens of topics, such as how government agencies fight back and how medical professionals should respond.

Hearing the Voices of Human Trafficking Victims

Hear directly from the victims and survivors of human trafficking as they talk about their experiences and share their stories with this podcast.

Unseen: The Traffickd Truth Podcast

Unseen is a podcast dedicated to sexual trafficking that features stories from survivors and tells you about cases the popular media didn’t cover.

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