The need for health specialists in counter-trafficking efforts is great and the recognition of the need is increasing. Visiting on location allows for a much better perspective of the place, the people, the reality of health care, etc. The work may take place in shelters, red-light districts, brothels; and also areas of slums or villages from which many people are trafficked.
Generally, I travel to places where a host organization has invited me to visit their work and give some input as to how they can implement health care and services into their prevention, outreach, or aftercare activities. This work may take several forms and is usually a combination of several activities: clinical care, meetings with the staff, health trainings, conducting focus groups, and addressing whatever issues they want help with. Many times, there is some aspect of health care within the scope of the organization’s work, but they would like some input as to how to make it more robust and more medically sound and holistic.
I also travel to participate in conferences and workshops. Many times I’m there to give a presentation, sometimes I’m there as a participant. At these conferences there are always opportunities to learn and network with others who are doing great work in this area. Related to the conferences are the speaking engagements at medical schools, hospital, and other academic institutions to teach and raise awareness about the health consequences of trafficking in persons and the unique role of health professionals in addressing issue.
When I’m not on the road I’m working on local projects, researching pertinent topics, writing training modules and keeping up with project progress remotely by email or skype.