Jacquelyn C.A. Meshelemiah, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the College of Social Work and a faculty fellow in the Office of Academic Affairs at The Ohio State University. Dr. Meshelemiah has taught numerous courses across the curricula, but now exclusively teaches courses related to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and human trafficking.
Carra Gilson is a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University who is working towards her combined-degree of a bachelor of science in public health (BSPH) with a Spanish minor and the master of public health (MPH) with a specialization in health behavioral health promotion. Ms. Gilson is interested in maternal and child health, with a focus on infant mortality and health disparities. She also advocates for education on the needs of human trafficking survivors.
Athapattu Pathirannelage Amila Prasanga is a Lieutenant Commander in the Sri Lankan Navy. Currently, he is a student at General Sri John Kottelawala Defence University in Sri Lanka. He holds a bachelor of science (BSc) in management and technical sciences and a master’s in business administration from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka.
Survivors of sex trafficking who were forced into drug use as victims are in need of social services to treat their drug dependency and other mental disorders. Access to social services is a human rights issue that must be acted upon by state and federal officials. The law, however, requires approval of the T-Visa for receipt of benefits. Along with the T-visa application process, the applicant (human trafficking survivor) must be willing to assist in every reasonable way in the investigation and prosecution of the trafficker. The authors argue that drug dependency treatment and other social service benefits should be a separate issue and not dependent upon the T-visa and cooperation with the investigation and prosecution of the trafficker.
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Meshelmiah, Jacquelyn C.A.; Gilson, Carra; and Prasanga, Athapattu Pathirannelage A. (2018) "Use of Drug Dependency to Entrap and Control Victims of Sex Trafficking: A Call for a U.S. Federal Human Rights Response," Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 3: Iss. 3, Article 8. https://doi.org/10.23860/dignity.2018.03.03.08