Human Trafficking Prevention Guidelines for Health Care Providers

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that occurs every day in the United States. From December 7, 2007 to December 31, 2016, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center identified 240 calls and cases of human trafficking in Baltimore and 596 calls and cases in Washington, D.C., which was ranked No. 1 for number of calls received per capita. In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline identified 314 victims, 102 traffickers, and 44 trafficking businesses in Maryland.

Research shows victims of human trafficking often seek medical care while they are being exploited. One study found that 81% of domestic minor sex trafficking survivors interacted with a medical provider the year prior to their identification and referral to service providers. With training, health care providers are uniquely positioned to recognize the signs of trafficking, provide support and connect survivors with resources in the community through victim service agencies.

The Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Health Care Providers builds upon the work of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force’s medical subcommittee, which created the state’s first protocol in 2015. The updated guidelines have been crafted to reflect current national best practices, and promote the use of trauma-informed care, addressing human trafficking from a multi-disciplinary response. These guidelines are intended to equip caregivers and hospitals with accessible tools to help meet the needs of the survivors that access the health care system every day. Additional resources are provided from local, state and national organizations. The guidelines and resources will continue to be updated as new research and best practice become available.

For more information about how your hospital can establish a response for human trafficking or to submit your own resources to share on this page, please contact Jane Krienke.

Provider Resources


Dignity Health PEARR Tool - A guide for providing trauma-informed care
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA’s Trauma Theory


Futures Without Violence Tips for Separating a Patient from Accompanying Person


  Maryland Human Trafficking Medical Response Algorithm
  Maryland Mandated Reporter Decision Tree


American Hospital Association ICD-10 CM Coding for Human Trafficking
American Hospital Association ICD-10 CM Coding for Human Trafficking Fact Sheet


Youth-specific Resources

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Shared Decision Making with Child Trafficking Survivors

Mandated Reporting

Department of Human Services Locate Your Local Department of Social Services Office
Department of Human Services Steps for Filing a Mandated Report, DHR/SSA 180 Form


Resources from Members

Greater Baltimore Medical Center Human Trafficking Training & Policy Development
Greater Baltimore Medical Center GBMC Identifying, Responding to Human Sex Trafficking


Online Training

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Trafficking in Persons - SOAR Online