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The Human Trafficking Initiative (HTI) focuses on advancing research, education, policy, and clinical care efforts within the health sector to comprehensively address the devastating public health effects of all forms of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a global issue of grave public health concern. An estimated 20.9 million persons worldwide are trapped in forced labor and sexual exploitation (ILO, 2012), however the exact prevalence of human trafficking is unknown. In the United States, cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states and make reference to both citizens and foreign nationals. Trafficked persons experience numerous negative health outcomes, including but not limited to violence-related injuries, occupational injuries, sexually transmitted infections and diseases (including HIV), unplanned pregnancy, malnutrition, substance use disorders, psychological trauma and neglect of chronic medical conditions. Up to 87.8% of human trafficking survivors in the US report being evaluated in a healthcare facility at least once while trafficked (Lederer & Wetzel, 2014). Health care providers are uniquely positioned to prevent trafficking as well as identify and respond to trafficked persons in the health care setting.
The Human Trafficking Initiative (HTI) was launched in 2008 to frame human trafficking as a public health issue and advance anti-trafficking efforts in research, education, policy, and clinical care within the health sector. In 2008 – 2010, HTI completed 9 social-science research case studies on human trafficking in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, and the Philippines. Our research examined local public health responses to sex trafficking of women and girls, in order to understand the health sector’s role in mitigating the health effects of trafficking. HTI has built on its research by developing an evidence-based training on human trafficking for multidisciplinary healthcare audiences with the goal of heightening awareness, improving victim identification, and developing trauma informed responses that address the complex health and social needs of trafficked persons. In addition to this work, HTI has engaged in advocacy for the development and implementation of evidence-based policies to safely and effectively assist survivors of trafficking. The initiative's newest efforts have focused on providing comprehensive, trauma-informed, and survivor-centered care for victims and survivors of human trafficking referred to the MGH Freedom Clinic.
Our four major areas of activity:
2. Policy Advocacy
3. Education and Training
4. Clinical Care (Mass General Freedom Clinic)
Human Trafficking Resources
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center Webinar on Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking in a Healthcare Context Catholic Health Initiative in collaboration with MGH Human Trafficking Initiative Addressing Human Trafficking in the Health Care Setting Human Trafficking Guidebook co-published with the Massachusetts Medical Society
Click here to download
For more information about the Human Trafficking Initative's educational offerings and requests for speaking engagements, please contact: Wendy Macias-Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH Director, MGH Human Trafficking Initiative Chief Executive/Medical Director, MGH Freedom Clinic Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School Tel: (617) 643 - 4294 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to acknowledge our funder,Give Way to Freedom, for helping us make this all possible!
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