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AG Yost Announces New Training to Help Health-care Professionals Combat Labor Trafficking

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Rounding out National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced new training for health-care professionals that focuses on identifying and responding to potential victims of labor trafficking.

“Make no mistake, human trafficking is modern-day slavery – and my goal is that no person is bought or sold, whether it’s for sex or for labor,” AG Yost said. “Training like this is crucial because one of the few people a trafficking victim might see on the outside is an emergency room nurse or doctor. That care provider might be the victim’s best shot at freedom.”

The training is the third in a series of videos based on real-life scenarios created by the Healthcare Subcommittee of AG Yost’s Human Trafficking Commission. Relying on research from the National Institutes of Health, the commission recognized that 88% of trafficking survivors report having had contact with a health-care professional.

“The fact is, labor trafficking victims’ visits to the ER often go unnoticed,” said Harold D’Souza, who has lived experience and who provides expertise as an ambassador to the AG’s commission. “Victims can be identified and removed from harm at this critical stage, but fear of being reported often keeps them silent. I encourage everyone who works in health care to take the training and know what to look for.”

The latest scenario focuses on labor trafficking indicators, with an emphasis on trauma-informed care. Viewers learn to identify the possible signs, both physical and psychological, and the importance of prioritizing the safety of both the patient and the ER staff.

The video depicts an 18-year-old Spanish-speaking Argentinian:

  • Who is brought into the ER with a severe laceration in his left index finger.
  • Who is not bilingual.
  • Whose “aunt” explains that he was injured in a farming accident.
  • Whose “aunt” also states that she is the patient’s only next of kin since his arrival in the United States.

The training videos are intended for use by health-care professionals statewide, preferably in a classroom setting with a designated facilitator. An accompanying Facilitator’s Discussion Guide is available on the Attorney General’s website.

Additional training videos are being developed.

Yost formed the Human Trafficking Initiative (HTI) in 2019. For more information about the initiative, the AG’s Human Trafficking Commission and the work of both, click here.

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