Human Trafficking in view of Medical Ethics: A Survey from Turkey on Health Professionals


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Cokar M., Işil Ülman F. Y. , Bakirci N.

European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics Conference 2010, Oslo, Norveç, 16 - 18 Eylül 2010

  • Basıldığı Şehir: Oslo
  • Basıldığı Ülke: Norveç

Özet

European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics Conference 2010

16-18 September, 2010, Oslo, Norway


HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN VIEW OF MEDICAL ETHICS: A SURVEY FROM TURKEY ON HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Muhtar Cokar [1], Yesim Isil Ulman [2], Nadi Bakirci [3]

Acibadem University, School of Medicine

Presented at the Conference by: Yesim Isil Ulman

Abstract:

Prostitution has always been a focus on moral debate and taking into account of the huge intellectual heritage, there exists little concern on sex work in the field of medical ethics. Although health care workers face with health consequences of sex work including STIs, sexual violence and psychological disorders, they are mostly not equipped with proper intellectual or practical skills to cope with the medical and ethical aspects of prostitution. The only concern for sex workers in the area of health rely on the recently developed interest for the prevention of AIDS.

Prostitution, which can be legally or illegally performed, may include violence, stipulation and slavery like conditions. Millions people are trafficked across international borders each year for the purpose of exploitation. The most frequent form of exploitation is the sexual exploitation of women in the field of sex trade. Human trafficking is one of the most severe form of human rights violation including right to life and respect for human dignity. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey becomes an important destination country for human trafficking and each year hundreds of women are forced to work at the sex sector. Sex work is regulated by law in Turkey and it is forbidden foreigners to work in the sex sector as prostitutes. Within the routine law enforcement controls over sex work, each year thousands of domestic and foreign sex workers have been captured and referred for compulsory STI screening. In this process both law enforcement bodies and health care workers pay no attention for the status of the sex worker, as this process can be very important for victim identification. The unidentified victims usually deported out of Turkey by the police and their slavery condition continues.

We have conducted an empirical study based on a survey among physicians who may have contacted with foreign sex workers and, aimed at determining their perception, and knowledge on human trafficking and their attitudes towards prostitution. The referrals for STI screening can be an important access point for victim identification and providing knowledge on human trafficking for health care professionals who may help to improve human trafficking prevention efforts. About one hundred physicians in five health facilities are selected according to their high potentiality for coming into contact with foreign sex workers. A structured questionnaire was performed to the physicians in order to evaluate their perception and knowledge on human trafficking and their attitudes towards prostitution.



[1] MD, PhD. Acibadem University School of Medicine, Department of Medical History and Ethics, Istanbul, Turkey / mcokar@ikgv.org

[2] Assoc.Prof, MA, MSc, PhD. Acibadem University School of Medicine, Department of Medical Ethics, Istanbul, Turkey / yesimul@yahoo.com

[3] Assoc.Prof, MD, PhD. Acibadem University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Istanbul, Turkey / nadiba@gmail.com