TOPEKA – (August 27, 2020) – Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced a new partnership with the Kansas Hospital Association to create an online toolkit for increased awareness within the health care community of human trafficking.
Schmidt said the goal of the partnership is to provide practical and effective tools to help all health care providers identify, interact and intervene in situations where human trafficking is suspected. Human trafficking is happening in both rural and urban areas of the state and men, women and children can be victims of both labor and sex trafficking. According to a 2014 study by the Global Centurion Foundation, 88 percent of sex trafficking victims said they had contact with a medical provider while they were being trafficked.
“Health care providers are in a key position to identify and assist victims by providing support and services they need to leave their situation and start on their road to recovery,” Schmidt said. “I am grateful to the Kansas Hospital Association for their collaboration in this effort to help the health care system identify human trafficking victims.”
The partnership with the Kansas Hospital Association adds another source of support for trafficking victims across the state by equipping urban and rural health care facilities and staff with victim-centered tools to recognize the issues associated with trafficking and to intervene. Schmidt’s office has also provided targeted training on red flags for health care providers and administrative personnel across the state.
“Reducing and preventing human trafficking has been a priority focus area for many hospitals across Kansas,” said Tom Bell, President and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Association. “KHA appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with Attorney General Derek Schmidt and our member hospitals to address this critical issue.”
The toolkit was developed over several months through collaboration between the Kansas Hospital Association and the Office of Attorney General. Resources include research-based approaches to providing patient care, screening methodology and models for hospitals to develop policies and procedures for assisting human trafficking victims. The toolkit can be accessed at https://www.kha-net.org/CriticalIssues/QualityandPatientSafety/human-trafficking/.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. More information about human trafficking is available on the attorney general’s website at https://ag.ks.gov/human-trafficking.