HAP's Latest News

Taking Action during National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January 10, 2024

Hospitals and their dedicated teams can play an important role to help combat human trafficking in their communities.

Tomorrow is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and this month marks National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The designations put a spotlight on the need to address this growing public health concern in the U.S. and around the globe.

“More than 27 million people around the world endure the abhorrent abuse of human trafficking and forced labor, including thousands of people right here in the United States,” President Biden said in a proclamation this month. “It is a threat to global security, public safety, and human dignity. During National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we reaffirm our commitment to ending these predatory crimes at home and across the globe.”

Here’s what you need to know:

  • About:  Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Health care’s role:  Hospital teams can support patients by understanding the potential warning signs and knowing when to take action.
    • A national action plan to address human trafficking highlighted the role of training to help people understand the signs and proper interventions.
  • Resources:  The American Hospital Association (AHA) has compiled resources for health care providers and teams to combat human trafficking in their communities.
    • Public health leaders say you should call 911 if you believe someone is in imminent danger.
    • If you have information about a potential trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline at (888) 373-7888 or chat online.
    • Resources about reporting for health care providers also are available.
  • Coming soon:  Next month, the Regional Interdisciplinary Collaborative Working to Disrupt Human Trafficking is hosting a two-day summit emphasizing a multi-state strategy to support victims and share best practices.

Additional information for National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, including a digital toolkit of AHA resources, is available online. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has published a toolkit for Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

A HAP fact sheet about human trafficking in Pennsylvania also is available.