Human trafficking


I would like to raise awareness of human trafficking by gathering information based on member learning needs. If the forum members want information I could post resource links and share my knowledge from a conference I'll be attending next month.

Human trafficking is enormous and complex. Please consider what specifics would be of interest. For example, can you define human trafficking? Could you determine if a client is a victim of trafficking? These are only suggestions.

Thank-you for your input on this important problem.



832 Posts

Why should I care about human trafficking?



88 Posts

Why should I care about human trafficking?

Health problems such as HIV, AIDS, TB as a few examples are associated with trafficking....can go undetected due to the clandestine nature of trafficking (Sabella, 2011).

"A majority of known domestic (U.S.) victims are children involved in prostitution. Many are runaways but some are not" (Sabella, p. 31).


Sabella, D., 2011 The role of the nurse in combating human trafficking: Learn how to recognize the signs that someone is being trafficked and how to safely intervene. American Journal of Nursing, 2011, 111 (2), 28-37. Retrieved from:

Edited by JuliaRNMSN
citation correction


traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 164 Articles; 21,134 Posts

I actually listened to an Audio Digest talk about Human Trafficking and how it is very prevalent in the US when you consider that selling your body for sex is considered trafficking if people make money from someone elses misery.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience. 1,970 Posts

The AJN article is excellent. There was an article in National Geographic many years ago on the subject of human slavery that was horrifying and may help with your project. I must warn everyone that it is very upsetting and difficult to read.

When working outside the U.S., I attended an eight hour class by the FBI on recognizing human trafficking. Before that class I had no idea that this crime is so prevalent and basically ignored outside the U.S.

Thank you for your efforts to increase awareness about this human rights issue. Will follow.


blondenurse12, MSN, NP

Specializes in Family Practice. Has 13 years experience. 120 Posts

Please take all information about human trafficking related to sexwork with a grain of salt. Most "research" is done by SWERFs who refuse to actually let sexworkers or trafficking victims speak for themselves. They make up statistics to basically use the evil of human trafficking for their own agenda (i.e- making money off of lecturing and writing books). All the wonderful things they have pushed for thusfar have just made it a nightmare for those who do survival sexwork, recently Backpage has stopped accepting credit cards to pay for ads. So it's pushing more ladies/gents onto the street and making it more risky for them to be abused or trafficked. So sad. Many of the laws are now criminalizing underage/trafficked sexworkers and charging them with trafficking, such as the case of the two girls in Oregon. Groups like the Polaris Project, one of the largest in the US, offer nothing more than a hotline for trafficking victims. There are no jobs, no education, no assistance, nothing.

There are so many myths surrounding trafficking, the biggest being the uptick of trafficking around Superbowl and other major sporting events. It's flat out false. According to the FBI, every year the number of rescued trafficking victims is dropping. I don't find that to be a comforting fact because it simply means that by continuing to criminalize sexworkers, it is making it more difficult for trafficking victims to get help. All this aside, no one ever even gives a thought to those trafficking victims who work in the fields, who are forced to be housekeepers, who are forced to work in sweatshops. There is such a gung ho attitude over the perceived immorality of prostitution that everyone else be damned. It's hypocritical and disgusting.

So don't conflate sexwork with trafficking. The only way we will ever get anywhere is to decriminalize prostitution and actually offer resources to trafficking victims. I think it would be very difficult for a civilian (non sexworker) to spot a trafficking victim if you ever came into contact with one. Even if you did, I highly doubt there would be a useful conversation. I've seen the way and heard from others how healthcare providers speak to sexworkers and it's quite frankly appalling.