Combating Disinformation

HEAL is an international group of multidisciplinary professionals and survivors dedicated to building health care’s capacity to respond to trafficking. QAnon has used social media to rampantly spread disinformation about child trafficking to millions of Americans through social media and sparked hundreds of rallies across the country using the hashtag #SaveTheChildren. As a health-focused, evidence-based, survivor-informed anti-trafficking organization, HEAL stands against this disinformation and the subsequent harm it does to those who have experienced human trafficking and those who are at risk of being trafficked.

(To learn more about what health professionals & health systems can do to minimize disinformation, watch our webinar on QAnon and disinformation here.)

Trafficking is a nuanced, multidimensional crime of economics and power.  As individuals fighting to end trafficking, we must educate ourselves on the root causes and address the multitude of issues at their source.

What can health professionals and health systems do to protect those in your communities from trafficking?

We know that the majority of trafficked persons access health care while being trafficked. We also recognize that health systems have large spheres of influence in local and global communities.

Health professionals can:

Health systems can:

    • develop policies to respond to those who have experienced labor and sex trafficking
    • post information about trafficking exploitation and worker rights
    • evaluate their purchasing power and demand supply chain transparency from the companies health systems buy from
    • pay their workers a living wage

Health systems and health professionals can:

    • advocate for policies that address systemic vulnerabilities of children to both labor and sex trafficking
    • advocate for more housing, social, legal and employment support for survivors and vulnerable individuals
    • advocate for an end to discriminatory practices against immigrants and communities of color
    • seek information from survivor-led organizations, including the National Survivor Network and the Survivor Alliance

Avoid or be skeptical of web sites and posts:

    • that use sensationalist language or imagery in their discussion of human trafficking.
      • examples of sensationalist and misleading imagery include:  “Victims” who are tied up, or chained or otherwise physically restrained
    • that describe complex conspiracies, including famous or well-known figures in politics or entertainment and/or large numbers of people victimized by total strangers
    • that can be traced back to organizations that promote or promulgate racial, ethnic or religious stereotypes
    • from organizations that claim to “rescue” or “set free” individuals in trafficking situations


HEAL Trafficking provides a multitude of free resources to those working in the anti-trafficking and health care fields. To support a world HEALed of trafficking, donate here.

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