RCN congress

Nurses demand better training to identify victims of people trafficking

RCN passes safeguarding resolution at congress.
Beverley Baker

Nurses have called for better training in identifying and helping victims of people trafficking.

RCN north west London outer branch member Zeba Arif proposed the resolution to RCN congress on 17 May.

There are thought to be around 13,000 trafficked men and women in the UK, according to Home Office statistics.

Variety of issues

'Many are likely to be victims of slavery and will present with a variety of healthcare issues including sexually transmitted diseases, trauma, fatigue, and psychological and psychiatric distress,' Ms Arif said.

She called for comprehensive training to give nurses an understanding of how trafficked people present to healthcare services, and the pathways of treatment and support available.

Beverley Baker from RCN Birmingham branch said safeguarding training should be just as important

Nurses have called for better training in identifying and helping victims of people trafficking.


Beverley Baker from RCN Birmingham branch says we must prioritise safeguarding training.
Picture: John Houlihan

RCN north west London outer branch member Zeba Arif proposed the resolution to RCN congress on 17 May.

There are thought to be around 13,000 trafficked men and women in the UK, according to Home Office statistics.

Variety of issues

'Many are likely to be victims of slavery and will present with a variety of healthcare issues including sexually transmitted diseases, trauma, fatigue, and psychological and psychiatric distress,' Ms Arif said.

She called for comprehensive training to give nurses an understanding of how trafficked people present to healthcare services, and the pathways of treatment and support available.

Beverley Baker from RCN Birmingham branch said safeguarding training should be just as important as ‘prevent’ training, the arm of the government’s national counter-terrorism strategy set up to identify those at risk of becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

RCN nurses in management and leadership forum’s Chris Butler said the issue ‘goes to the core of the responsibilities of healthcare professionals’.

Fight for the vulnerable

RCN council member David Dawes added: ‘We are at our best when we fight for the most vulnerable in society.’

The resolution was passed overwhelmingly by members.

This week the RCN launched a new pocket guide to help nurses identify victims of trafficking and modern slavery, which was distributed to audience members at congress.


In other news

Call to support adult survivors of child sex abuse

Asylum seekers and refugees need NHS care too, congress hears

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