Southeast Asia Study Shows Gaps in Health Care for Trafficking Survivors


Trafficking in persons is a gross violation of human rights that often involves extreme exploitation and abuse. Trafficked persons may have health problems that are minor or severe, but very few escape uninjured. Most people who are trafficked are exposed to health risks throughout the entire trafficking process—before, during and even after trafficking has ended—and caring for trafficked persons poses certain diagnostic and treatment challenges.
The guidelines and practices of frontline health care personnel are also of great importance to the recovery of victims. A manual and facilitator’s guide for health care providers will be presented at the workshop as one tool to improve healthcare responses to victims of trafficking.
Though many medical needs can be treated through standard clinical practices, those who have been trafficked have complex and diverse health needs and some may require a comprehensive and long-term strategy.

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Viet Nam – Human trafficking may lead to complex and long-term health complications, according to new research unveiled in Vietnam today.

The study, carried out in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region by IOM and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, highlights the health outcomes and consequences of human trafficking and calls for greater emphasis on the healthcare needs of victims of trafficking.

“Research on the health consequences of human trafficking remains limited, with the health care sector often left out of integrated responses to cases of trafficking,” said David Knight, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Vietnam, speaking at a November 21st workshop in Hanoi.  “There is a clear need for the active involvement of the health sector in directing trafficking-related policy and implementation,” he noted.

Co-funded by Spanish health agency ANESVAD and IOM, the study worked with local post-trafficking support organizations and the survivors themselves. It aimed to identify the health risks, consequences and service needs of people using post-trafficking services in Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam, and the resulting policy recommendations that will foster the development of integrated health policies for human trafficking responses.  

The workshop provides an opportunity for healthcare providers and other stakeholders to explore the health consequences and specific care needs of trafficked people. Policy gaps and recommendations also will be discussed.

Click here for a manual and facilitator’s guide for health care providers to be presented at the workshop.

For more information please contact:

David Knight
IOM Viet Nam
Tel: +8443736 6258 (Ext. 106)