Healthcare Training Institute - Quality Education since 1979
CE for Psychologist, Social Worker, Counselor, & MFT!!
It is important to remember to never attempt to confront a suspected human trafficker or attempt to rescue a suspected victim, unless you are in law enforcement. This could put the safety of both the confronter/rescuer and the victim at risk. You should call law enforcement directly or call one of the tip lines discussed below (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
Educators and school personnel, including bus drivers, administrators, counselors, cafeteria workers, etc. should be knowledgeable about the signs of human trafficking, various ways to support disclosure by the victim, and the steps that should be taken in the case that there is a strong suspicion of human trafficking. If a student does show any signs of possible human trafficking, the first step is to always pay attention (U.S. Department of Education, 2015).
The next step that educators and school personnel who are suspicious of a human trafficking incident should take should be to follow the protocol set in place by their school district for responding to these incidents. Schools that do not have any established formal protocols put in place should consider adopting one to help school personnel understand and recognize signs or indicators of human trafficking and follow the correct protocol for responding to human trafficking of students. Educators should contact law enforcement of contact one of the tip lines listed below (U.S. Department of Education, 2014).
Other tip lines that are available to report suspected human traffickers or victims of human trafficking include (U.S. Department of Homeland Security):
Through the identification of possible victims of human trafficking and by reporting tips of possible human trafficking, you are doing your part to help law enforcement rescue victims, and you might save a life. Law enforcement agencies are able to help victims connect to services such as medical and mental health care as well as shelter, job training, and any legal assistance that they may need in order to restore their freedom and dignity from what they have gone through.
There are steps that you can take to prepare yourself to be ready and have the information you need if you do suspect that someone is a victim of human trafficking or if you suspect someone of being a human trafficker.
You can call the HIS tip listed above to get to know the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents and Victim Assistance Specialists that are currently working on human trafficking in your local area and build a relationship with them. You can also find out if there is a Human Trafficking Task Force in your local area by visiting www.bja.gov and if there is one in your area, establish a relationship with them. These Task Forces are comprised of federal, state, local, county, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors.
If you are in law enforcement, you can call the Homeland Security Investigations’, or HSI, field office or Human Trafficking Task Force in your area, if there is one, to work collaboratively on an investigation or to report a tip. HSI is responsible for investigating human trafficking cases and arresting human traffickers. In addition, there may be an organization-specific protocol that you should follow in order to notify your supervisor and engage the proper local authorities (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
Another way that you can prepare yourself is to become educated, not only for yourself but for your co-workers as well. You can visit www.fletc.gov/training/programs/human-trafficking-training-program to take a general online, interactive training. If you would like additional training, you can always visit www.dhs.gov/Bluecampaign to receive training, outreach materials, victim assistance materials, and additional information on how you can help to end human trafficking (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).