Schuette, Michigan Human Trafficking Commission Release Medical Training Video in Partnership with the Wayne County Medical Society

Contact: Andrea Bitely, Megan Hawthorne; (517) 373-8060

August 14, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced the release of a new human trafficking training video designed specifically to help better educate medical professionals on how to identify victims of human trafficking.

It is estimated that many human trafficking victims have interactions with health care professionals during their trafficking situation. This video is designed to educate medical professionals on the crime of human trafficking, teach them how to interview and interact with potential victims, and familiarize medical experts on recommended victim protocol and associated mental health, legal and social service interventions available to trafficking victims.

“Public awareness is a great first step in winning the fight against human trafficking,” said Schuette. “But helping doctors and nurses not only identify signs of a victim of trafficking but learn how to interact with a scared and distrusting young male or female victim of sex trafficking is another key step in the fight. A majority of victims come into direct contact with health professionals – those professionals have potential to make the greatest impact if they are able to immediately identify the signs of human trafficking.” 

This medical professional training video was discussed as a priority in the 2016 Michigan Human Trafficking Commission Report which was released earlier this year. The video has been accredited through the Wayne County Medical Society and Wayne State University School of Medicine so that health professionals in Michigan and around the country may obtain 1.5 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for viewing it.

“Given most human trafficking victims receive medical treatment at some point during their trafficking, these victims are being seen by the medical community, but the medical community is not trained to identify the signs of trafficking. Therefore, we need a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach that builds upon the capabilities of social services, healthcare, legal, IT and law enforcement to stop this scourge,” said Dr. Herbert Smitherman, of the Wayne County Medical Society. “That is why the Wayne County Medical Society, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and Michigan State Medical Society have all worked collaboratively with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and his staff to develop this educational and awareness video. This video provides our State a real opportunity for ways to identify, intervene and eliminate this grave and growing problem.”

The video features local and federal law enforcement, members of the Michigan medical community, former human trafficking victims and Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Michigan Human Trafficking Commission

Established in the Department of Attorney General in 2014, the Human Trafficking Commission is comprised of over a dozen members who are dedicated to bringing attention to and eradicating this modern-day form of slavery. The Commission includes men and women from law enforcement, a circuit judge, victim services advocates, and representatives from state departments and the governor’s office.

The Commission released its 2016 report which highlights the activities of the Commission earlier this year.