AMHERST, Mass. – An online course designed to help identify, treat and assist victims of human trafficking is being offered this fall by the College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Open to anyone to enroll, the course may be of particular interest to nurses, health care professionals, law enforcement officers, teachers and social workers. Because this is an online course, anyone in the U.S. may enroll, says Donna Sabella, a nationally recognized human trafficking expert who is teaching the course. Sabella is the co-founder and associate editor of The Journal of Human Trafficking.
The course will introduce students to what human trafficking is, how to identify victims, the health problems commonly associated with this population, special considerations to be aware of when working with trafficking victims and how to access services for them.
“Those who think human trafficking is a problem for someone else, somewhere else, are sadly mistaken,” Sabella says. “Human trafficking is presently viewed as a universal problem and it has risen to the level of a public health crisis, including here in the U.S. We do students and professionals a grave disservice to not require them to be educated and trained regarding this problem, so that they are able to properly identify, support and treat victims.”
According to the U.S. State Department, between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. annually and sex trafficking is the most prevalent form of human trafficking within the U.S. borders.
The last day to register for the class is Sept. 18. More information about the course is available online.