Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Modern slavery

Poor understanding of modern slavery in the healthcare system

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 01 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1449
  1. Patrick J Saunders, visiting professor of public health1,
  2. Megan Harris, specialist registrar2
  1. 1School of Social Work, Allied and Public Health, University of Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent ST4 2DF, UK
  2. 2West Midlands Deanery, Birmingham, UK
  1. carolan57{at}

Such and colleagues are right to describe modern slavery as a public health problem as well as a law enforcement issue.1 They also emphasise the missed opportunity for healthcare professionals to protect victims because of inadequate training in, and awareness of, the signs, consequences, and effective responses. This is especially true for sexual exploitation.

Data from the UK National Crime Agency show that sexual exploitation was the second most common type …

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