Nurses Vital to Tackling Human Trafficking, ICN Congress Told

July 29, 2019

The caution came from Cindy McCain, a leading voice of the topic from the US, on the final day of the International Council of Nurses’ congress in Singapore this week. 

Addressing more than 5,000 nurse delegates from around the world, Ms McCain, co-chair of the Arizona Governor’s council on human trafficking, highlighted the importance of nurses receiving training on how to spot the red flags for human trafficking, a form of modern slavery in which people are traded for the purpose of exploitation such as forced labor or prostitution.

Issuing a “call to action,” Ms McCain, who is also board chair of the McCain Institute for International Leadership think tank, and widow of former US senator, John McCain, said: “You are on the frontlines; you are leaders and opinionators; unless you are educated on signs of human trafficking, we won’t win this.”

She added: “It is critical we put human trafficking assessment tools in the hands of as many health practitioners as possible.”

Her talk took place on the same day that the ICN launched a new pamphlet called ‘Human trafficking, the basics of what nurses need to know’, which describes the types of human trafficking, general signs to look out for, and which actions to take if human trafficking is suspected.

Speaking alongside Ms McCain was Kevin Hyland, member of the Council of Europe independent group of experts for trafficking and former independent anti-slavery commissioner for the UK.

During the session Mr Highland asked Ms McCain why nurses were absent from some of the decision-making processes and discussions on the subject of human trafficking.

To read the full story by Gemma Mitchell on Nursing Times: Click Here 

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