For years I have urged U.S. government officials to more aggressively engage the medical community in the fight against human trafficking. Medical professionals may encounter ailing trafficking victims who are brought in by their captors who are concerned only in restoring the health and therefore profitability of the "merchandise." Yet many healthcare professionals do not know how to recognize the signs of victims or how to report suspected cases of human trafficking.
To increase awareness in the medical community, I have urged U.S. government officials at State, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security to hold a White House summit on health and human trafficking. The summit would serve to encourage top officials from medical specialty organizations to educate their members about recognizing, reporting and treating trafficking victims. In this way, hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals could be educated at no cost to the taxpayer. The best benefit, of course, would be the recognition, rescue and rehabilitation of many more trafficking victims.