The Rehabilitation Of Victims Of Human Trafficking Through Partnership

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People who are trafficked are daughters and sons, mothers, brothers, fathers and sisters. Most often, they are individuals who believed they were being given an opportunity to earn money to improve their future and that of their loved ones. Once in a trafficking situation, most come to believe that their hopes have been ruined. For many survivors, consequent health problems may further hamper their ability to care for themselves and their family. For those most severely abused, those violated at the youngest ages or those most vulnerable to mental health problems, the psychological burden may prevent them from moving beyond the trafficking experience, and may even make them at risk of re-trafficking or other forms of abuse.

This research proposal is a ‘guide’, not a prescriptive text, for health care providers to consider ways in which they might assist trafficked and other exploited individuals to regain their health, independence and hope for a better future. There are numerous guidance materials on responding to other forms of abuse (e. g. , domestic violence, sexual abuse, or child abuse) or caring for vulnerable populations (e. g. , minors, migrants, or disabled persons) that have been developed over the past decade. There is currently very little evidence on the health of trafficked persons. Health has been a neglected area of study. We are in urgent need of a greater knowledge-base on the health needs of individuals who are exploited in different sectors and in various ways. We are in even greater need of evidence on the best ways to return health and well- being to those who have been harmed by traffickers, who unscrupulously take advantage of people’s hopes and determination for a better life. As this research proposal emerges. Finally, I want to emphasise that, despite the obvious health implications of being trafficked, the health care community is very frequently left out of the dialogue, planning and resource allocation for trafficked persons.

We wish to urge greater participation. Especially for those of you who are seeing numbers of trafficked persons or persons you suspect may be have been trafficked, it is important to find ways to participate in both policy discussions and local service networks. While some trafficked persons may simply need rehabilitation a medical assessment and reassurance that they are healthy, others may require intensive or long- term support. In either case, as health care providers, we must all continue through partnership to remind governments and others planning assistance for trafficked persons that health care is an essential component of rehabilitation, recovery, and reintegration and we must be prepared to offer the best possible treatment for persons who are trafficked. I hope you find this research proposal useful in caring for trafficked persons.

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