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Human Trafficking: Clinical Assessment Guideline

Leslie, Jennifer, RN, BSN, MPH, JD

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000389

Approximately 18,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year and forced into commercial sex work. Up to 80% of victims are seen by a health care provider. In the health care setting, they rarely identify themselves as victims of human trafficking (HT), making it difficult to recognize them. Only a few health care professionals know how to identify victims of trafficking among their patients. The purpose of this article was to review the process used in health care settings to identify victims of traffickers. The author conducted a search to locate current scholarly articles addressing HT identification in health care settings. Each article was reviewed for its significance in victim identification. To address the problem of identifying and assisting patients who are being trafficked, some hospitals developed their own protocols. However, the wide variation in what is included on these assessment protocols makes it difficult to hold up any particular protocol as a national model. The author concludes that until more effective standardized national protocols for the identification of the HT victim within the health care settings are developed, National Human Trafficking Resource Center's method of screening should be used to help increase the degree at which patient victims are identified within the health care setting.

Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Correspondence: Jennifer Leslie, RN, BSN, MPH, JD, Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314 (

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2018 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.