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Lawmakers introduce bill to help healthcare providers aid human trafficking victims

Marketplace Staff Jun 9, 2016
A newly introduced bill would establish a Department of Health and Human Services training program to address human trafficking. Christopher Furlong/Getty Image

Lawmakers introduce bill to help healthcare providers aid human trafficking victims

Marketplace Staff Jun 9, 2016
A newly introduced bill would establish a Department of Health and Human Services training program to address human trafficking. Christopher Furlong/Getty Image

A recently introduced bill could establish a program that would train healthcare providers to identify and aid human trafficking victims.

The legislation, introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives, would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to train providers in hospitals and clinics to better identify patients who are being trafficked. The pilot program would be known as “Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond to Health and Wellness Training. The act would expand on current efforts to give healthcare providers the basic training needed to identify human trafficking victims and provide appropriate treatment.

The bill was introduced by representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Ann Wagner (R-MO). Cohen said in a press release that the bill “enables healthcare providers to implement protocols and procedures to work with victims, service organizations, and law enforcement so that victims can get proper support and perpetrators of human trafficking are brought to justice.”

Marketplace’s Dan Gorenstein reported on the issue earlier this year and healthcare providers told him it was often difficult to identify victims and even when they can, they may not have the resources or training to help.

Go here to read more about resources for healthcare providers and hear the entire three-part series.

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