AMWA's Physicians Against Trafficking of Humans
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Welcome to the AMWA PATH Monthly Newsletter.

This is the first of a monthly series in research and advocacy news summaries created by the PATH residents and medical students. Newsletters will feature brief breakdowns on some of the most recent scholarly publications as well as policy changes related to human trafficking.

Research: Healthcare and Human trafficking

Situation of migrants in transit, released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), A/HRC/31/35


About the report

The OHCHR surveyed the migrant situation in order to access the human right situation of migrants including unaccompanied children and adolescents, women, and girls. The report contains recommendations for improvements in protection of migrants and has a human rights lens, with findings relayed in the context of normative framework.


As the title suggests, the report provides insight into the hazards and mortalities that migrants face during transit, citing the death of 5,000 migrants during 2015. The report also provides nuanced information on the drivers of movement and associated coercion and independence. Likewise, risks for vulnerable populations are examined, such as the potential for public and private abuse of women and children.


The report highlights links between vulnerabilities associated with migration and the potential for extortion and trafficking. Specific instances of trafficking and criminal acts are provided. The OHCHR also points out the various legislation and governing bodies that shape today’s human rights framework, citing disparities in existing action goals and regulations and the existing condition of global migration trends.

Take Home Point:

Migrants are a vulnerable population to human trafficking and exploitation. This report highlights the reasons why in most recent years migration has proved to be especially lethal and high in risk of becoming trafficked. The report also investigates the which sub groups are more vulnerable and to what kind of abuse, for example women and girls with an increased risk of sexual and physical abuse during transit. This is invaluable research that collects data from this contemporary human rights disaster and illuminates the ways in which present legislation can guide future action.


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What’s Up on the Hill :

Runaway and Homeless youth and Trafficking Prevention Act


Date of Announcement:



About the Act: The R.A.H.Y and TPA is a much needed re-working of the 2009 Runaway and Homeless Youth act, which was was geared towards providing shelter, research, re-integration and other support services for, well, runaways and homeless youths. The proposed amendments will accomplish a few key changes. First off, the original act itself would be reauthorized through fiscal years 2016-2020 with a clearly stated dollar amount of 2,000,000 per year; the original monetary language was much more vague, promising “such sums as may be necessary” through FY 2013. Secondly, and one might argue most importantly, phrases like “prostitution” have been replaced in several phrases with ““violence, trafficking in persons, or sexual exploitation”. In the Eligibility Requirements section (312) the writers go so far as to refer to 2000 TVPA to define youth trafficking victims as “the such youth who have been coerced or forced into a commercial sex act, as defined in section 103”.


Other Notable Points:

- Extends the maximum stay shelter stay from 21 to 30 days

- Allows shelter services to include: trauma-informed and gender-responsive services for runaway or homeless youth, including victims .
- Requires plan applicants to assist youth in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Revises the Transitional Living Grant Program to require: information and counseling services in basic life skills to be age, gender, and linguistically appropriate.

- Requires suicide prevention services, counseling to homeless youth, and aftercare services.
- Requires referral of homeless youth to mental health services, including programs providing comprehensive services to victims of trafficking in persons or sexual exploitation.
- Revises the sexual abuse prevention program to authorize the Secretary HHS to create grants to public and non-profit private agencies to provide street-based services

- Extensive non-discrimination clause


Take Home Point:

Support for this act would be progress from both the tangible, material resource angle as well as the ideological angle. It would mean further penetration of the language of the original TPVA act, a sort of legislative reframing of runaway youth prostitutes as victims of trafficking in humans. It not only appears to provide a more comprehensive array of transitional resources to eligible survivors, but also widens the scope of the eligibility itself.


Who's For it:

30 Democrats 2 Republicans 1 Independent.



According to GovTrack, slightly better than average!


Want to Help?: Take Action

Editorial: Keywords TIP_ critique_ State Department_ Anti-Trafficking Want more? Click Me. 
Copyright © 2016 American Medical Women's Association: Physicians Against Trafficking of Human, All rights reserved.

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