Detecting Victims of Human Trafficking in Family Practice

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0400-0404

german translation / full article

Marlies Karsch-Völk, Monika Cissek-Evans

Keywords: family medicine human rights abuses human trafficking medical care

BackgroundHuman trafficking is defined as exploitation of a person by taking advantage of his or her plight. Thus, more individuals than commonly assumed are affected by human trafficking. Human trafficking includes forced prostitution, exploitative working conditions or forced criminal acts. Victims can seek out family physicians for different medical conditions.Search methodsThis text is based on the clinical article “victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution“ in Deximed (www.deximed.de), an online handbook for family physicians. For this article literature sources, identified by a selective literature research, were taken into account, including crime statistics, statements by the United Nations (UN) and the Council of Europe, reviews and other scientific publications.Main MessagesVictims of human trafficking seeking medical help cannot be easily identified at first sight. Escorts dominating and controlling the conversation with an affected person may be a hint. Scabies can be caused by a desolate housing situation or homelessness. Injuries or burns can be a signal for mistreatment. Sexual assault and forced prostitution can lead to genital infections or an unwanted pregnancy. Prevalence of mental illness, such as depression or substance abuse, is high. If human trafficking is suspected, victims can be referred to advisory centres to be found at “federal coordination council against human trafficking” or at “Fair mobility”. Here victims will get counselling and medical, therapeutic and legal help.ConclusionsFamily physicians can only identify and help victims of human trafficking if they are aware of the definition and of specific health conditions associated with human trafficking.Keywordshuman trafficking; human rights abuses, family medicine, medical care

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(State: 14.10.2020)

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  • Challenges of Acute Care
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  • Detecting Victims of Human Trafficking in Family Practice