The whole world community has been facing the problem of human trafficking and the use of slave labor throughout history, while human trafficking has always existed, taking various forms. Currently, human trafficking and the use of slave labor are one of the most severe forms of international crime. Significantly, it affects the individual’s dignity, self-determination, and inviolability. Human trafficking and slave labor have become essential, if sinister, features of the modern world. Unfortunately, these phenomena are not some relic of the past; on the contrary, they are being modernized, fitting into the contemporary world reality. Unfortunately, despite the high prevalence of human trafficking, medical personnel still do not have sufficient awareness of this issue.
Analysis of Synthesized Sources
The current synthesis focuses on establishing an evidence-based outline of why human trafficking awareness has to be trained and promoted across the globe based on the examples from the United States. The following texts will be synthesized: “Using sexual assault training to improve human trafficking education” by Scannell and Conso (2020); “Leading through the complexity of human trafficking” by Parchment and Stinson (2020); “The impact of an educational intervention on the knowledge and beliefs of registered nurses regarding human trafficking” by Berishaj et al. (2019); “Multi-level prevention of human trafficking: The role of health care professionals” by Greenbaum et al. (2018); and “Human trafficking and labor exploitation: Toward identifying, implementing, and evaluating effective responses” by Kiss and Zimmerman (2019). All of these authors are from the United States and hold a degree in nursing or social science.
One of the important ideas that are presented in the articles is that human trafficking is a public health issue that cannot be ignored by nurses across the globe and not just in the United States. According to Parchment and Stinson (2020) and Berishaj et al. (2019), educational interventions could become essential contributors to altering beliefs associated with human trafficking. The possibility of preventing damage given to the victims of human trafficking is another area of focus that was addressed by researchers. Kiss and Zimmerman (2019) and Scannell and Conso (2020) capitalized on the fact that self-reported knowledge plays an important role in predicting a reduced number of unresolved cases of human trafficking. Therefore, positive outcomes can be attained through the interface of proper nurse education and continuous training sessions for both new and experienced health workers. Nevertheless, education should not be the only focus for healthcare specialists addressing the problem of human trafficking.
The second point of view that is broadly addressed by researchers is the problem of collaboration among various stakeholders, where community- and society-based interventions also play a vital role. There is a crucial lack of advocacy for community wellness that would also remove toxic cultural and social norms amplifying the occurrence of human trafficking (Berishaj et al., 2019). A stronger basis is necessary if nursing teams across the United States expect to implement a multi-level approach and attract stakeholders from all backgrounds. Greenbaum et al. (2018) also noted that numerous facilities and institutions could enable exploitation and make it much easier for wrongdoers to resort to human trafficking. The complexity of the existing socioeconomic environment makes it harder for the community to fight against structural favors and all kinds of income inequalities. According to Scannell and Conso (2020), workers’ rights are also violated too often for the issue to be ignored.
The ultimate idea that was shared in the literature was the need to establish a healthcare environment where every nurse would have a contractual duty to cope with human trafficking and minimize its effects on patients. Starting with the individual behaviors of nurses and other healthcare stakeholders, other individuals could also assess the existing social protection measures and come up with revisions (Parchment & Stinson, 2020). Corporate social responsibility programs would appear, aiding healthcare organizations in finding opportunities to mitigate trauma and avoid any kind of judgment or bias. Therefore, the majority of authors dwell on the fact that nurses represent the primary resource intended to limit the occurrence of human trafficking (Berishaj et al., 2019; Kiss & Zimmerman, 2019; Scannell & Conso, 2020). From closing the educational gaps to implementing community-wide initiatives, each of the proposed solutions demonstrates exceptional effectiveness due to higher chances of identifying victims of human trafficking, often in a proactive manner.
Prevalence of Human Trafficking
Indeed, human trafficking is one of the most severe and widespread problems that continue to get worse. According to Scannell and Console (2020), 8,524 cases of human trafficking were reported in the United States in 2017, with the majority of reports coming from California, Texas, and Florida. The article authored by Parchment and Stinson (2020) indicates that according to the US Department of State, the United States is among the top 3 countries regarding the prevalence of human trafficking. Berishaj and Glembocki (2019) confirm this statement by reporting that approximately 40.3 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, with almost 25 million involved in forced labor and the remaining 15 million in forced marriages.
Low Awareness of the Problem
Despite the vast spread of this problem, the public and medical staff have a relatively low level of awareness of this issue. Scannell and Console (2020) state human trafficking education needs to be improved and that many ED nurses have never examined, identified, or treated victims of human trafficking. Kiss and Zimmermann (2019) believe that research on the prevention of human trafficking is still in its early stages and that the development of methods and steps of intervention and evaluation is necessary. Greenbaum et al. (2018) claim that human trafficking has not received an effective reaction and counteraction from the public and medical personnel.
Attempts to Solve the Problem
Nevertheless, Governments and health systems are making significant efforts to cope with this situation. According to Parchment and Stinson (2020), nurse managers involve clinical nurses, and experts in coordinating and providing nursing care in developing and implementing processes that can change the lives of victims of human trafficking. The article authored by Kiss and Zimmermann (2019) contains information that medical leaders are actively investing resources in developing basic concepts, intervention theory, harm prevention, and appropriate research methods. In addition, practical and extensive nursing training courses are being introduced, as, for example, described in detail in the article by Scannell and Console (2020). The authors believe that SASH is a valuable resource that opens up new opportunities for understanding the problem for medical personnel.
Thus, human trafficking is a severe and widespread problem that negatively affects all social groups. The scale of human trafficking forces medical organizations to develop new ways and methods of treating patients with similar traumatic experiences. The courses and techniques aimed at identifying signs of human trafficking and strategies for dealing with such patients are being developed. Nevertheless, the level of awareness and the public remains relatively low, as many nurses and health workers cannot ask the right questions and help the patient.
Berishaj, K., Buch, C., & Glembocki, M. M. (2019). The impact of an educational intervention on the knowledge and beliefs of registered nurses regarding human trafficking. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 50(6), 269-274. Web.
Greenbaum, V. J., Titchen, K., Walker-Descartes, I., Feifer, A., Rood, C. J., & Fong, H. F. (2018). Multi-level prevention of human trafficking: The role of health care professionals. Preventive Medicine, 114, 164-167. Web.
Kiss, L., & Zimmerman, C. (2019). Human trafficking and labor exploitation: Toward identifying, implementing, and evaluating effective responses. PLoS Medicine, 16(1), e1002740. Web.
Parchment, J., & Stinson, A. (2020). Clinical nurses: Leading through the complexity of human trafficking. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 44(3), 235-243. Web.
Scannell, M., & Conso, J. (2020). Using sexual assault training to improve human trafficking education. Nursing2021, 50(5), 15-17. Web.