Human Trafficking Assignment

Human trafficking is an issue of concern to public health as the health care providers have the responsibility of identifying victims of human trafficking and assessing their physical and psychological health.

The impact of human trafficking on health

The victims of human trafficking often suffer from physical and mental health problems such as the sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, tuberculosis, chronic pain, depression as well as anxiety and stress. According to the study conducted by Richards (2016), the participants who were recruited from the social service agencies reported the incidence of being physical and sexually abused while held captive by the human traffickers. Quite a number of women who were sexually abused tested positive for HIV and tuberculosis. The victim also suffered from the mental health disorders like the PTSD and depression. The studies reveal that both domestic and international surviving victims of human trafficking had high rates of PTSD and depression thus an indication that the problem is a global issue that need immediate interventions to help the victims as well as implement strategies to prevent human trafficking. The study by Powell et al (2018) also indicates that the nongovernmental sector in the U.S is leading in provision of mental health services for human trafficking victims.

The impact of human trafficking on the access to health care services

The health care providers in the emergency department are the immediate contact with the victims of human trafficking. However, the victims have limited access to health care services as they during trafficking situation; they get to interact with only one nurse for issues such as sexually transmitted infections of when they get pregnant. Others see the emergency nurse when they are hospitalized for sexual assaults and physical abuse (Lamb-Susca & Clements, 2018). Also, the victims usually feel embarrassed and guilty of seeking medical attentions and they end up suffering in silence (Richards, 2016). Most health care institutions do not have documented statistics on the consultation and treatment of victims of human trafficking (Westwood, Howard, Stanley, Zimmerman, Gerada & Oram, 2016). Therefore it is essential to create awareness on human trafficking and encourage the victims to seek immediate help in the social service agencies and health care facilities.

The impact of human trafficking on health care costs

Victims of human trafficking who seek to continue with their normal social and economic activities find its challenging as the lack the financial capability to seek medical help to prepare them to re-enter the community. Their family background also contribute to the financial constraints as most of the victims are from low income families with limited resources to allocate money for health care services. The study by Tsai (2017) reveals that the household income of the victims cannot sustain   their basic needs as they are unable to secure employment and they can sustain their livelihood including seeking medical attention. Therefore, there is the need to develop programs that will enable the surviving victims to pursue their goals.

The impact of human trafficking on health care quality

Human trafficking affects the quality provision of health care services. The American Nurses Association also mentioned human trafficking as a public health issue (Speck, Mitchell, Ekroos, Sanchez & Messias, 2018). The nurses were reported to experience challenges in identifying the trafficked individuals. They also lacked proper skills of interviewing victims of human trafficking and the main reason for such difficulty was due to language barrier and the inability of the victims to share their experience without feeling guilty and afraid.  Such challenges affect the ability of the health care providers to offer quality patient care to the victims. Therefore it is essential to not only offer training to nurses to equip them with relevant skills but also create programs that ensure the legal protection of the victims and nurse.



Lamb-Susca, L., & Clements, P. T. (2018). Intersection of human trafficking and the emergency department. Journal of emergency nursing44(6), 563-569.

Lamb-Susca, L., & Clements, P. T. (2018). Intersection of human trafficking and the emergency department. Journal of emergency nursing44(6), 563-569.

Powell, C., Asbill, M., Louis, E., &, H. (2018). Identifying gaps in human trafficking mental health service provision. Journal of human trafficking4(3), 256-269.

Richards, T. (2016). The impact of human trafficking on physical and mental health (Doctoral dissertation).

Speck, P. M., Mitchell, S. A., Ekroos, R. A., Sanchez, R. V., & Messias, D. K. H. (2018). Policy brief on the nursing response to human trafficking. Nursing outlook66(4), 407-411.

Tsai, L. C. (2017). Family financial roles assumed by sex trafficking survivors upon community re-entry: Findings from a financial diaries study in the Philippines. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment27(4), 334-345.

Westwood, J., Howard, L. M., Stanley, N., Zimmerman, C., Gerada, C., & Oram, S. (2016). Access to, and experiences of, healthcare services by trafficked people: findings from a mixed-methods study in England. Br J Gen Pract66(652), e794-e801.