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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sex trafficking needs more awareness - CMA commentary in Washington Times

My commentary in today's Washington Times:

Sex trafficking needs more awareness

Published in The Washington Times, March 13, 2013
Former sex trafficking victim Barbara Amaya highlights the need to “educate the public about the horrors of human trafficking or modern day slavery” (“Sex trafficking: Has anything changed in 45 years?” Web, March 9).
While federal government agencies including State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services have all impressively ramped up efforts to educate the public and law enforcement communities, there remains a critical need to focus in depth on medical professionals who see but fail to recognize and report many human trafficking victims. One medical study of victims interviewed after rescue found that up to half had been taken to a medical facility, yet not a single victim had been reported for rescue.[1]
One solution is to invite leaders of America’s medical specialty colleges to a White House symposium on human trafficking and to challenge them to adapt existing awareness building resources and data in order to educate their own members on how to recognize, report and treat victims.
For example, the Christian Medical Association now offers an in-depth online curriculum, with continuing medical education credit, to train healthcare professionals how to recognize, report and treat human trafficking victims (available at www.cmda.org/tip). If other medical specialty organizations do likewise, hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals can learn how to recognize, rescue and rehabilitate thousands of victims who otherwise would languish in slavery.
JONATHAN IMBODY
Vice president for government relations
Christian Medical Association
Washington


[1] Baldwin, et. al., “Identification of human trafficking victims in health care settings,” Health and Human Rights, July 2011 Vol. 13, No. 1.

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