Conclusion

Finally, the research supports, time and again, the fact that 87% of victims have come in contact with a healthcare provider during their trafficking involvement or captivity but were not recognized as a trafficking victim.6,8-10 Education of human trafficking, including the education of dental and medical personnel, is absent in most cases. Those working in these fields do not believe they can adequately identify victims with their current knowledge of the issue. The need for more training in the curriculum of medical and dental schools, emergency rooms, hospitals, community-based healthcare facilities and public health facilities is needed. The more the dental community can assess a situation that may involve trafficking and report this issue, the more likely we are to maintain a grasp on this global problem and assist those victims of human trafficking.

Dental professionals are required to report child abuse and this includes human trafficking victims. Learning the signs and language of trafficking may save the life of a victim and stop a perpetrator from acquiring another victim. Again, “the eye does not see what the mind does not know.”32