According to a recent Presidential Proclamation, every year in the United States, millions of men, women and children are exploited for labor or sex. Human traffickers use violence, deceit and/or promises of a better life to prey upon some of the most vulnerable populations, including migrants, refugees fleeing conflict or disaster, homeless LGBT youth, Alaska Native and American Indian women and children living in poverty. Human trafficking isn’t something that only happens in the big cities or on the coasts; just this past October, 41 Nebraskans were arrested during an FBI human trafficking sting.
Eighty-eight percent of trafficking survivors say health care clinicians cared for them while they were being trafficked, so OneWorld employees continuously watch for signs of human trafficking when patients arrive for care. If trafficking signs are detected, staff members follow protocol in order to safely help the victim. Clinicians know how to screen potential victims, identify warning signs, create safe spaces, and find help and social services for victims.
In November, OneWorld’s School-Based Health Center staff members learned about human trafficking in Omaha during a training session with Building Healthy Futures and the Women’s Fund of Omaha. There, staff members reviewed how to identify warning signs, but they also learned more about how to have conversations about healthy relationships, consent and trafficking with young people.
In addition to watching for signs of human trafficking, OneWorld is committed to helping survivors receive the health care services they need in order to move forward. Our staff works to provide the best health care possible for every patient, regardless of economic or insurance status.
If you suspect human trafficking, call 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. You can also text “Help” to 233733.