Advocacy

2017: See Susie Baldwin’s, Co-Founder and Board President of HEAL Trafficking, 2016 TEDMED Talk on Intervention in Human Trafficking Through Health Care and TEDMED Blog Post.

2016: Hanni Stoklosa, Co-Founder and Executive Director of HEAL Trafficking, presented at the National Academy of Medicine’s convening on “Effective Public Policy Approaches to Violence Prevention” on December 2, 2016 in Washington, D.C.  The talk was titled “Communicating to Policy Makers in the Context of Anti-Trafficking”.
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June 2016: HEAL Trafficking Submits a Letter in Support of the SOAR to Health and Wellness Act (HR5405).


April 2016: HEAL Trafficking Submits a Letter in Support of the SOAR to Health and Wellness Act (S1446).


March 2016: Anti-Trafficking Policy Developments Impacting Health Care Providers.

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Hanni Stoklosa offers remarks to the HHS Task Force to Prevent and End Human Trafficking


February 2016: A Congressional Briefing on Health Issues and Domestic Trafficking Victims.

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Dr. Hanni Stoklosa was invited to offer congressional testimony on the illnesses, injuries, and impairments suffered by victims of trafficking.


January 2016: HEAL Trafficking Submits a Letter to the Florida State Committee on Health Policy in Support of SB 818 Instruction on Human Trafficking.


SOAR Technical Working Group: HEAL experts, Kimberly Chang, Makini Chisolm-Straker, Jordan Greenbaum, Cathy Miller, Susie Baldwin, Hanni Stoklosa, and Jeffrey Barrows, invited to participate in HHS’s SOAR Initiative’s Technical Working Group in 2016 and 2014.


December 2015: Best Practices for Rescuing Trafficking Victims.  HEAL experts, Kimberly Chang and Jordan Greenbaum, participate in a briefing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission.


November 2015: American Public Health Association approves HEAL’s human trafficking policy statement!


October 30, 2015: HEAL’s 15th Anniversary of TVPA letter

Over 50 organizations and ~200 individuals signed on to HEAL’s letter to President Obama in support of an improved healthcare response to trafficking with specific recommendations on medical education, credentialing for trauma-informed care, health system trafficking protocols, comprehensive clinical care for survivors, resources for health & trafficking research, as well as health & trafficking legislation.


HEAL’s 15th Anniversary of TVPA letter

Dear Friends,

October 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the enactment of the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This landmark legislation, reauthorized four times, laid the foundation for significant efforts in the United States to combat human trafficking and support trafficking survivors. At this important juncture, we celebrate the TVPA while acknowledging that the prevention of human trafficking and the promotion of well-being among survivors requires improved, dedicated resources for health and social services.

Human trafficking is a healthcare issue, with severe and long-lasting adverse consequences for the health, development, and well-being of victims and survivors. Current U.S. Government funding is insufficient to meet the health, housing, and rehabilitative care needs of victims and survivors. The collective voice of the health sector must urge for greater U.S. investment in programs that prevent human trafficking, and provide comprehensive health services to victims of violence.

Please sign on to HEAL’s 15th Anniversary of TVPA letter to President Obama, urging the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request increased funds in the President’s FY17 budget to combat human trafficking and forced labor. To endorse as an individual, please click here or as an organization, click here, by October 15, 5pm EDT.

In solidarity,

Susie Baldwin, MD, MPH
Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH
Directors, HEAL Trafficking

September 21, 2015: Department of Health & Human Services Human Trafficking: A Summit to Engage Healthcare Organizations

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HEAL leaders presented on prevention strategies, healthcare screening, protocol development, legislative engagement, research agenda setting and featured Jeffrey Barrows, Aisha Mays, Jordan Greenbaum, Holly G. Atkinson, Aimee Grace, and Hanni Stoklosa.


August 15, 2015: HEAL Trafficking Responds to NIH’s Strategic Plan

“HEAL Trafficking unifies and mobilizes interdisciplinary professionals combating human trafficking through a healthcare lens and serves as a centralized resource on health for the broader anti-trafficking community. Our members include leaders from clinical practice, public health, global health, academia, and government, working in 28 states and at the national and international levels. Among many other anti-trafficking activities, members of HEAL Trafficking have been active members of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families’ SOAR National Technical Working Group and the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States. Our vision is “A world healed of trafficking.”

Human trafficking – including both sex trafficking and labor trafficking – has severe and long-lasting adverse consequences for the health, development, and well being of victims and survivors. Attention to human trafficking globally and in the United States has been increasing in the media and among the general public, NGOs, and governmental agencies at the international, national, state, and local level. Nevertheless, the body of reliable research-based evidence remains insufficient to determine many aspects of human trafficking including prevalence, physical and mental health consequences, and effective responses. For example, a 2013 study by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States, included as one of its five overarching recommendations: “Strengthen Research to Advance Understanding and to Support the Development of Prevention and Intervention Strategies.” Similar research is needed with respect to the physical and mental health implications of both sex and labor trafficking for adult and minor victims and survivors. HEAL Trafficking strongly urges NIH to include human trafficking research in its strategic plan.”


July 2015: Massachusetts Senate on Trafficking Legislation
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Hanni Stoklosa testifying at the Massachusetts Senate on trafficking legislation.


May 30, 2015: HEAL Trafficking Supports Senate Bill S.1446 

“We write in strong support of your Senate bill S.1446 to establish the Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Training pilot program. This bill complements the health care training outlined in the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act as passed by the Senate and the House.

As the U.S. Government continues to coordinate interagency anti-trafficking efforts, HEAL Trafficking supports expanding the SOAR pilot program that HHS already has in place, codifying the program, diversifying the reach of those facilities and individuals to be trained, and increasing the types of trainings to be offered. This legislation has the potential for substantial impact, as it builds upon the SOAR pilot project’s multiple years of engagement with diverse stakeholders and federal partners as well its strong interagency integration with the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services to Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States1. HEAL Trafficking has in-depth comprehension of this program through engagement in the SOAR National Technical Working Group and the national SOAR to Health and Wellness site trainings.”

See full letter here: HEAL Letter to Senators 6-26-2015


March 16, 2015: HEAL Trafficking Supports Amendment S.A. 300

“We write with great concern about the impasse over S. 178, the Cornyn Klobuchar Justice for Trafficking Victims Act. The JVTA includes critical provisions that expand services for survivors and strengthen the criminal justice system’s ability to combat human trafficking. We implore the Senate to pass S. 178 without the inclusion of Hyde Amendment language, which would place limits on trafficking survivors’ access to vital health services. We support its replacement with amendment S.A. 300 offered by Senator Leahy, which provides an added focus on prevention, and encompasses bipartisan proposals that recently have gathered strong support.”

See full letter here: HEAL Letter to Senators 03-16-2015 


October 30, 2014: HEAL’s support letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

“Dear Secretary Burwell:

HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage) Trafficking, a national and international network of interdisciplinary health professionals, would like to state our support of the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) “Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond” (SOAR) human trafficking training initiative. We also offer suggestions for future Health and Human Services (HHS) developments in the context of the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Service to Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States.

HEAL Trafficking has been at the forefront of informing the national response to trafficking from a health perspective. In particular, HEAL Trafficking’s members have been present both on the HHS/ACF SOAR National Technical Working Group and the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the United States. Furthermore, one of HEAL Trafficking’s co-founders was an expert witness for the September 11, 2014 Congressional Subcommittee on Health panel, “Examining H.R. 5411, Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2014.”

See the full article here: HEAL Support HHS LTR_HMS1-VR2


HEAL co-founder Dr. Hanni Stoklosa provided expert witness testimony to the Congressional Subcommittee on Health, September 11, 2014. Dr. Stoklosa’s testimony begins at 39:00 in the video.


September 29, 2014: Ways and Means Committee Actions to Prevent Child Sex Trafficking and Improve the Lives of Youth in Foster Care

“Over the past year, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources has reviewed one of the most serious concerns about the nation’s foster care system — that it doesn’t do enough to protect young people in its care from becoming victims of sex trafficking.

On Monday, September 29, the President signed into law H.R. 4980, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. This bill reflects months of bipartisan, bicameral work to prevent sex trafficking of children in foster care, increase adoptions from foster care, and increase child support collections for families, among other purposes. This legislation is the result of an open and transparent legislative process that included multiple congressional hearings, committee markups, and other public events. In addition, as a result of the open comment period announced in December of 2013 by the Committee on Ways and Means, the bill incorporates many improvements suggested by the public. Finally, H.R. 4980 implements these improvements without increasing spending, actually reducing the deficit by $19 million over 10 years according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.”

See the full committee report athttp://waysandmeans.house.gov/preventtrafficking/


January 17th, 2014: Public Comment on Draft Legislation, House Committee on Ways and Means “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care Act’’

“We submit this comment on behalf of HEAL Trafficking, an interdisciplinary network of health professionals from across the United States and beyond, working to combat human trafficking and to serve as a centralized resource on health for the broader anti-trafficking community.

We commend the House Ways and Means Committee for taking a bipartisan step to improve the lives of vulnerable children through the proposed legislation, “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care. ”However, we implore the Committee to consider inclusion of all forms of child trafficking, including labor trafficking, in its legislation. While sex trafficking is the most visible form of trafficking, children in the United States also experience labor trafficking, including forced work as peddlers, beggars, nannies, domestic servants, and drug dealers, as well as forced work in agricultural, factory, and restaurant settings. These children come from vulnerable, often immigrant backgrounds, and interact with child welfare agencies, schools, and other social services. They, too, experience terrible abuse, including sexual assault and rape, and deserve our attention and protection.” To read the full letter, click here.

2011:  Susie Baldwin provided written testimony to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Her testimony is titled “The Urgent Need for Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Services for Human Trafficking Survivors in the United States.”  Her full testimony can be found here.