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  • Brandon Novick
    September 21, 2018 at 1:40 pm #1519
    1. WHEREAS, according to the US Department of State, human trafficking is “the recruitment, harboring,
    2. transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or
    3. coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery”1; and
    1. WHEREAS, according to the US Department of State, sex trafficking is “when a commercial sex act is
    2. induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or when the person induced to perform such an act has not attained
    3. 18 years of age”1; and
    1. WHEREAS, human trafficking and sex trafficking are major public health problems, both domestically
    2. in the United States and internationally, and health care providers are often the only professionals to
    3. interact with trafficking victims who are still in captivity2; and
    1. WHEREAS, victims of human trafficking interact with the health care system before, during, and after
    2. the period of victimization3; and
    1. WHEREAS, one study found that 28% of trafficked women saw a health care professional while still in
    2. captivity4; and
    1. WHEREAS, between 14,500 and 17,500 human beings are trafficked into the United States annually,
    2. and about half of all those who have been trafficked have had some contact with a medical
    3. professional5; and
    1. WHEREAS, one study found that around 88% of interviewed survivors of sex trafficking had
    2. encountered one or more health care professional during a time in which they were trafficked, yet “none
    3. were identified as a victim during the [healthcare] encounter” and another randomized control trial of
    4. training emergency medical providers in human trafficking recognition and then evaluating following
    5. the educational intervention displayed an increase in emergency department provider knowledge and
    6. self-reported recognition of human trafficking victims6,7; and
    1. WHEREAS, another study has shown that healthcare professionals with training in human trafficking
    2. were “more likely to report human trafficking, have encountered a victim in their practice, and have
    3. greater confidence in their ability to identify victims”8; and
    1. WHEREAS, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Obstetricians and
    2. Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Medical Women’s
    3. Association (AMWA), the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Psychological

    1. Association (APA), the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and other medical,
    2. nursing, and social welfare organizations have encouraged their members to receive training in and
    3. increase their awareness of human trafficking9; and
    1. WHEREAS, in the past several years, some states have expanded their mandatory child maltreatment
    2. reporting laws to cover human trafficking (as of December 2015, fourteen states had included sex
    3. trafficking as reportable acts, and ten of those also included labor trafficking)10; and
    1. WHEREAS, the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) already supports improving human
    2. sex trafficking awareness and further supports the inclusion of human trafficking training in osteopathic
    3. medical school curricula in accordance with Resolutions: S-17-04, S-17-0711; and
    1. WHEREAS, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) already acknowledges human trafficking as
    2. a violation of human rights and a global public health problem encourages osteopathic physicians to be
    3. aware of the signs of human trafficking and the resources available to aid them in identifying and
    4. addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking, including appropriate medical assessment and
    5. reporting to law enforcement in accordance with Resolution: H401-A/1412; now, therefore be it
    1. RESOLVED, that the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) urges the American
    2. Osteopathic Association (AOA) to encourage the colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) to
    3. incorporate education concerning human trafficking and sex trafficking into the osteopathic curriculum.


    1. Trafficking In Persons Report. (2007). US Department of State. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/
    2. Dovydaitis, T. (2010). Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Care Provider (5th ed., Vol. 55, 462-467). J Midwifery Womens Health. doi:10.1016/j.jmwh.2009.12.017
    3. Lederer, L., & Wetzel, C. (n.d.). The health consequences of sex trafficking and their implications for identifying victims in healthcare facilities. Ann Health Law, 23(1), 61-91. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
    4. Turning pain into power: Trafficking survivors’ perspectives on early intervention strategies. (2010). San Francisco, CA: Family Violence Prevention Fund. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from http://www.childhood-usa.org/upl/files/4109.pdf
    5. Physicians Have a Role in Stopping Human Trafficking. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2018, from http://annualmeeting.acog.org/physicians-have-a-role-in-stopping-human-trafficking/
    6. Testimony from Katherine Chon on Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2014. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2018, from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/olab/resource/testimony-from-katherine-chon-on-trafficking-awareness-training-for-health-care-act-of-2014
    7. Grace, A., Lippert, S., Collins, K., Pineda, N., Tolani, A., Walker, A., . . . Horwitz, S. (2014). Educating health care professionals on human trafficking. Pediatric Emergency Care, 30(12), 856-861. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
    8. Beck, M., Lineer, M., Melzer-Lange, M., Simpson, P., Nugent, M., & Rabbitt, A. (2015). Medical providers’ understanding of sex trafficking and their experience with at-risk patients. Pediatrics,135(4), 895-902. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
    9. Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage Because Human Trafficking is a Public Health Issue. (2018). Retrieved September 12, 2018, from https://healtrafficking.org/health-societies/
    10. Todres, J. (2016). Can mandatory reporting laws help child survivors of human trafficking? Wisconsin Law Review Forward, 69-79. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from http://wisconsinlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Todres-Final.pdf
    11. The SOMA Policies. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://studentdo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Resolutions-Archive-Fall-2014-Present.pdf
    12. AOA Policy Search. (2014). Retrieved September 12, 2018, from http://policysearch.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/H401-A-14-HUMAN-TRAFFICKING-AWARENESS-AS-A-GLOBAL-HEALTH-PROBLEM.pdf

    Submitted by:
    Landry Shipman OMS II – Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn
    Emily Chin OMS II – Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn

    Action Taken:


    Effective Time Period: Ongoing