Caring for Trafficked Persons. Guidance for Health Providers.
The International Organization for Migration in cooperation with The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has published the handbook “Caring for Trafficked Persons. Guidance for Health Providers”. It has been developed with support of the United Nations Initiative to fight Human Trafficking (UN.Gift).
The handbook provides practical information for health providers to understand the phenomenon of human trafficking and its far-reaching consequences. It further provides some useful guidelines on how medical interviews and examinations should be conducted:
The handbook is not just a useful resource for health providers. It also helps legal professionals and decision makers to understand the health problems that may hamper the ability of trafficked persons to take informed decisions and that put them at risk of being retrafficked or becoming victims of other forms of abuse.
From a medico-legal perspective the handbook addresses the necessity to offer trafficked persons a forensic medical examination upon the first contact with a health provider (p. 182 of the handbook):
Trafficked persons should be informed of their right to a forensic medical examination where local legal requirements permit forensic evidence and capable laboratory facilities are available. Forensic exams should be offered upon the first contact with a health provider because timing is essential for gathering medical evidence. A forensic medical examination is an examination provided to a victim of a crime, carried out by a forensic professional trained to gather evidence in a manner suitable for use in a court of law.
The handbook can be ordered as a hard copy or is available for free as a pdf–file here.Tweet