Florida: Human TraffickingPage 8 of 10

6. Florida Reporting and Legal Requirements

Reporting Requirements

The Florida Attorney General’s website lists the following places for reporting Human Trafficking in Florida:

  • National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 888 373 7888
  • US Department of Justice Hotline 1 888 428 7581
  • Florida Abuse Hotline 1 800 96-ABUSE (800 962 2873)
  • Local Authorities

Each of these may be appropriate in slightly different situations. As always, if someone’s life is in imminent danger, call 911.

In Florida, any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare is a mandatory reporter. § 39.201(1)(a), Florida Statutes. Virtually all healthcare professionals are “professionally mandatory reporters” and required to give their names when making a child abuse report; however, that information is held confidential (§ 39.202, F.S. and 415.107, F.S.).

Sex trafficking of a child is by definition child abuse and must be reported (FDCF, 2013).

If you have information regarding suspected Human Trafficking of a child in Florida contact: Florida Abuse Hotline 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). Details of reporting and the information you will need to provide is available here (FDCF, 2019a,b).

If you have information regarding suspected human trafficking of an adult anywhere in the United States, or of a child outside of Florida, please do one of the following:

  • Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888 373 7888
  • Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE)
  • Visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline online at https://humantraffickinghotline.org

(FDCF, 2019a)

To report suspected instances of trafficking or worker exploitation, you can contact the FBI field office nearest you or contact the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at 1-888-428-7581 (weekdays 9 AM - 5 PM EST). The TPWETF Complaint Line call is toll-free and offers foreign language translation services in most languages, as well as TTY. After business hours, the Complaint Line has a message service in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin only (USDOJ, 2015).

FL Requirements for Florida Nurses

In 2017 the continuing education (CE) requirements for nurses in Florida were changed to require a 2-hour CE course on human trafficking, as defined in s.787.06(2). This course must be completed every biennium beginning January 1, 2019 (FBN, 2020).

FL Requirements for Other Healthcare Professionals

In 2019 Florida passed Human Trafficking, Chapter 2019-152, Laws of Florida, which establishes new profession requirements including newly required signs, CE/CME, and more for the following professions: Acupuncture, medicine, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, podiatric medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing home administration, occupational therapy, dietetics and nutrition, respiratory care, massage therapy, and physical therapy (FBOM, 2019).

Signs

Each healthcare provider licensed by one of the named Boards must post a sign regarding human trafficking in a conspicuous place accessible to employees by January 1, 2021. The sign must be at least 11 x 15 inches and in at least 32-point type. The sign must contain statutorily required language and be posted in English and Spanish. Signs that that when printed at the listed size will meet the statutory requirements are available on the Florida Department of Health website. The Department has also provided Mandarin and Creole translations of these signs for use in offices where those languages are spoken (FDH, 2020).

Continuing Education

Each healthcare provider licensed by one of the named Boards must complete a one-hour continuing education (CE) course on human trafficking that has been specifically approved by their Board for this purpose. The course must be completed by January 1, 2021 and will count towards the required CE for renewal. The bill does not require that this course be taken again for future renewal cycles. This link may be used to locate courses that meet this requirement as soon as the courses are approved by the applicable Board (FDH, 2020).

Other Requirements

Massage therapy establishments have additional requirements they must meet:

  • Establish a Designated Establishment Manager (DEM) who “must be a licensed Massage Therapist with a clear and active license without restriction, practice at the establishment, and be responsible for the operation of the establishment in accordance with the laws and rules” (FDH, 2020, 2020a).
  • Implement a procedure for reporting suspected human trafficking and post a sign accessible to employees that outlines that procedure.

More information on details and deadlines is available on the Florida Board of Massage Therapy website.

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