Nurses are ideally positioned to screen, identify, care for, provide referral services for, and support victims of human trafficking. Therefore, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) supports improved education and awareness for nurses regarding human trafficking. Patients should be screened for human trafficking in private, safe, health care settings. If there is a language barrier, professional interpreter services are imperative. To protect the safety of women who have been trafficked, AWHONN opposes laws and other policies that require nurses to report the results of screening to law enforcement or other regulatory agencies without the consent of the woman who experiences the human trafficking. However, nurses and other health care professionals should be familiar with laws for mandatory reporting in their states, especially for minors, and comply as applicable.
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