“U.S. State Laws Addressing Human Trafficking: Education of and Mandatory Reporting by Health Care Providers and Other Professionals”
Human trafficking is a global problem and constitutes a grave human rights violation, affecting more than 20 million individuals worldwide. This brutal crime often results in both short- and long-term physical and psychological harm to its victims. This article provides a systematic review of U.S. laws that address education about human trafficking and/or mandatory reporting requirements that affect healthcare providers and other professionals across the United States. Thirteen U.S. states now have laws that address education about human trafficking, while seven specifically require mandatory reporting of minors who are victims of trafficking. The findings are instructive not only to practicing physicians and other professionals, who are now mandated reporters of trafficking victims in some states, but also to attorneys practicing in the field and to regulatory and legislative bodies contemplating enacting such laws in an effort to address trafficking.