Theses Doctoral

Convergence of Modern-day Slavery with Poverty, Drugs, and Conflict in Vulnerable Populations: Training Rural Public Health Workers to Promote Human Trafficking Awareness

Brooks, Sharmayne

In spite of mass media attention and implementation of international laws in the last two decades, modern-day slavery is still active in communities across the globe. Individuals trapped in forced labor situations endure devastating physical and mental illnesses, with dire consequences that extend into families and neighborhoods. The call has been made for every citizen to join in the anti-human trafficking movement. Lawmakers, police, and border patrol officers are on alert in each major U.S. city. Yet, training some of the most valuable stakeholders who work among some of the most vulnerable populations has been largely overlooked.
Rural public health workers, specifically promotoras, serving in Texas-Mexico border communities are a key component to activate in the anti-trafficking awareness and prevention efforts in this region. The current research examined the geographic and socioeconomic situation of the colonias in the Rio Grande Valley and the effect of the drug cartel conflict directly across the border. Through an online survey, this study assessed rural public health workers’ knowledge and awareness of human trafficking and educational needs on human trafficking issues.
Results of this research indicate that limited education and training of rural public health workers on the topic of human trafficking contribute to the low rate of victim identification in the rural clinic and community settings. Recommendations for immediate training of this strategic population located on our southernmost U.S. border is proposed along with future research.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Fullilove, Robert
Marks, Ray
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 5, 2018