Health Care as a Right for the Human Trafficked

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Book Section

Publication Title

The Historical Roots of Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking in the United States disproportionately impacts people of color; this has been true since race-based slavery started in the Northern Hemisphere. As in the economic construction of the nation, advances in health care have been facilitated by the use of Black bodies despite the fact that health care was not wholly available to enslaved Black people. The legacy of the devaluation of Black people lives on in pervasive race-based morbidity and mortality disparities. This chapter historically situates Black experiences of US health care in the Middle Passage, chattel slavery, and the Eugenics Movement. The chapter concludes with recommendations on ways to make health care affordable, accessible, and acceptable to people of color and trafficked persons (noting these two groups meaningfully overlap), especially by proportionately allocating healthcare resources to vulnerable and oppressed groups with more poor health outcomes.


Public Health