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September 2014

Integrating Curricula on Human Trafficking Into Medical Education and Residency Training

Author Affiliations
  • 1Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC
  • 2Division of Global Health and Human Rights, Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(9):793-794. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.999

Today in the United States, human trafficking occurs in cities, suburbs, and rural areas across all 50 US states.1 “Severe forms” of human trafficking are defined under the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 as the following: (1) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age or (2) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. According to data collected by the US Human Trafficking Reporting System between January 2008 and July 2010, 83% of confirmed sex trafficking victims were US citizens, and 95% of confirmed labor trafficking victims were foreign-born nationals. Moreover, 87% of sex trafficking victims were younger than 25 years, compared with 38% of labor trafficking victims.2

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