On this episode, host Jason Woods speaks with Dr. Makini Chisolm-Straker, an ED physician in New York who is also a founder of HEAL Trafficking, an organization that works to fight human traffickingi n all forms. This is part 1 of a 2 part discussion. The highlights:
- Definition of trafficking
- recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, and/or obtaining of a person
- By the use of force, fraud, and/or coercion
- For purposes of labor and/or sexual exploitation
- Numbers and general info
- Overall labor trafficking is most common
- Under age 18 “survival” sex considered victim of trafficking
- US reports 15-50k brought to US each year for trafficking, but tn 2014, US DOS reported 21,000 calls to its trafficking hotline, so it is likely far under-reported in the official numbers.
- On a 2016 survey of victims of trafficking, 55% had seen an ED/UC while trafficked
- There is no comprehensive trafficking screening tool in existence
- The Greenbaum tool is only for use in english speaking patients ages 13-17 and evaluates for risk of sex trafficking
- Quotes from Makini’s published work that I loved
- It is important NOT to employ the Greenbaum Tool until the clinician has had a frank conversation about mandated reporting with the patient. Too often clinicians envision trafficking as a crime from which which victims must be rescued or saved. That is not our job. And it does not work. Victims that are unwillingly rescued often end up back in exploitation circumstances. Many young people in trafficking situations do not identify as victims and some feel a strong sense of agency: others expect to be criminalized by authority figures because that has been their experience.
- We must apply the principles learned from because of IPV work. Survivors know more about their situation and needs than we do. Our rescue actions, intended with love, often have untoward unintended consequences for those we seek to serve.
Makini Chisolm-Straker MD, Assistant Professor of Emergendy Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System
- HEAL Trafficking
- Training for providers that Dr. Chisolm-Straker mentioned
- Human trafficking hotline:
- Phone: 1-888-373-7888
- SMS:233733 text HELP or INFO
1. Greenbaum VJ, Livings MS, Lai BS et al. Evaluation of a Tool to Identify Child Sex Trafficking Victims in Multiple Healthcare Settings. Journal of Adolescent Health 2018;63(6):745–52.
2. Greenbaum VJ, Dodd M, McCracken C. A Short Screening Tool to Identify Victims of Child Sex Trafficking in the Health Care Setting. Pediatric Emergency Care 2018;34(1):33–7.
3. Chisolm Straker M, Baldwin S, Gaïgbé-Togbé B, Ndukwe N, Johnson PN, Richardson LD. Health Care and Human Trafficking: We are Seeing the Unseen. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2016;27(3):1220–33.
4. Shandro J, Chilsom-Straker M, Duber HC et al. Human Trafficking: A Guide to Identification and Approach for the Emergency Physician. YMEM 2016;68(4):501–1.
5. Chisolm Straker M. Measured steps: evidence‐based anti‐trafficking efforts in the E.D. Acad Emerg Med 2018. doi: 10.1111/acem.13552