DHDTC DAL 18-04: Human Trafficking

March 26, 2018

Dear Chief Executive Officer/Administrator:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of legislation, effective November 4, 2017, which requires general hospitals and diagnostic and treatment centers (DT&C) to establish and implement policies and procedures pertaining to the identification, assessment, and referral of victims of human trafficking. A copy of new Public Health Law (PHL) § 2805-y, added by Chapter 408 of the Laws of 2016, is attached.

The New York State Department of Health (Department), in consultation with the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), is in the process of developing regulations to implement new PHL § 2805-y.

Consistent with the statute, the regulations will require general hospitals and diagnostic and treatment centers to establish written policies and procedures for the identification, assessment, treatment and referral of individuals who are or appear to be human trafficking victims and train staff in such policies and procedures. These requirements apply to service units as defined in PHL § 2805-y(1)(d). The service units covered by the law are intended to be comprehensive and cover most areas of operation in hospital inpatient and outpatient areas, as well as in D&TCs. Further, as set forth in the law, the regulations will reiterate that policies and procedures must provide for the referral of human trafficking victims under the age of 18 to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment established pursuant to Social Services Law Title 6, Article 6.

The hospital or DT&C is responsible for informing a person (either verbally or in writing) who is or who appears to be a human trafficking victim of the availability of services, including those referenced in Article10-D of the Social Services Law, upon admission, treatment or discharge, including discharge or transfer from the emergency or observation service. Referrals may also be made to other health care providers, as appropriate.

The hospital or DT&C must establish and implement staff training regarding the policies and procedures for all individuals licensed or certified pursuant to title eight of the education law, and for all security personnel.

The following resources are provided to assist in the development of policies and procedures required by the law and upcoming regulations. Additionally, they are useful for the preparation of staff training, particularly in the identification of those patients who are or appear to be human trafficking victims.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have questions regarding the general requirements of the statute or the proposed regulations as discussed above, please direct them to the Division of Hospitals and Diagnostic & Treatment Centers at 518-402-1004.


Ruth Leslie
Division of Hospitals and Diagnostic & Treatment Centers