WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. applauded the U.S. Senate for passing his bipartisan initiative to help medical professionals identify and stop human trafficking. The Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Amendment was included in the Senate-passed bill the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.
The amendment, first introduced in the Senate with U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), will provide for the development and dissemination of evidence-based best practices for health care professionals to recognize victims of trafficking and respond effectively. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar bill introduced by Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Watch Dr. Cassidy’s remarks on his amendment HERE.
“If our nurses and doctors can better identify victims of human trafficking, they can help bring relief to those suffering in ways that those of us who have never been there cannot imagine,” said Dr. Cassidy. “There is still work to be done to stop human trafficking, but this will help.”
“Human trafficking is a serious problem in Michigan, and doctors and nurses are in a unique position to identify trafficking victims,” said Senator Peters. “I’m pleased the Senate has passed this commonsense legislation to provide critical resources to train medical professionals so they can recognize and offer help to victims when they need it most. This program will help make medical professionals more effective partners for trafficking prevention, putting us on a stronger path to ending these horrific crimes in our state and across the country.”
Also included in the final bill are initiatives to help victims of human trafficking receive services to restore their lives, increased penalties for human traffickers, strengthened law enforcement and increased resources available for victims while still remaining deficit-neutral.