United Kingdom: Study Finds Medical Workers Struggle to Help Trafficking Victims

Nearly ninety percent of workers in Britain’s National Health Services do not know how to formally identify human trafficking victims and many lack the “confidence” to act even when they do suspect trafficking, according to a new study released by researchers at Kings College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Eighty percent of health workers also said they received no formal training in how to properly assist victims. Just twelve to twenty percent of workers surveyed reported coming into contact with people they thought or knew were victims of human trafficking. The study’s researchers said this indicated a need for “special training for those working in areas where contact with trafficked people is likely, such as maternity care, mental health, paediatrics and emergency medicine.” According to official government estimates, Britain is home to at least 13,000 trafficking victims.  


Compiled from: D’Urso, Joseph, British health workers unsure how to spot, help trafficked patients- study, Reuters (August 20, 2015).