As President and Nation Focus on Human Trafficking, CMDA Physicians Call for Intervention by Medical Professionals
Washington, DC - January 9, 2013--Following President Obama's proclamation marking January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association is calling for increased training and awareness among medical professionals to recognize, report and treat victims of modern-day slavery.
As CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens explains, "Studies show that victims of human trafficking often see health care professionals during their captivity, yet typically these cases go unreported. Part of the reason for this tragedy is that health care professionals simply lack formal training on how to recognize and report human trafficking victims."
Dr. Jeffrey Barrows, an Ob-Gyn physician who helped develop the CMA training program and the founder of Gracehaven a developing treatment center for child sex trafficking victims in Ohio, added, "Physicians, nurses and other health care professionals can literally save the lives of patients they encounter simply by recognizing common indicators of human trafficking cases and by reporting suspected cases to the appropriate authorities."
Dr. Donald Thompson, a Family Practice and Preventive Medicine physician who leads CMA human trafficking victim treatment programs overseas, added, "That's why we have been developing a comprehensive online training program to educate and equip health care professionals with strategies, data and protocols to help patients victimized by force, fraud or coercion in sex and labor trafficking."
Besides developing its own educational program to train professionals and conducting medical missions to treat trafficking victims, CMA also has worked at the national level with the White House, the U.S. Dept. of State, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the Dept. of Health and Human Services to help develop strategies for engaging medical professionals in fighting human trafficking.
More information on CMA anti-slavery resources is found under the Issues / Human Trafficking site at www.cmda.org. Interviews with the above physicians available upon request.