Provide Culturally Competent Services to Trafficked Persons
It is important to deliver culturally competent services that consider how people of a different culture react to their experiences and to receiving support. This applies for both internationally and domestically trafficked persons.
Considerations when working with trafficked persons from different cultural backgrounds:
- Honour your promises. In many cultures, verbal agreements carry more weight than written agreements.
- Be aware that your professional designation may be unfamiliar or create tension for people from other cultures. Define your role clearly.
- Ask the trafficked person how they wish to be supported. What are their expectations?
- Do not provide a timeline and require the person meet it.
- Do not impose or expect direct eye contact.
- Do not feel you must answer or fill the silent periods during discussion. These silent periods can be longer than you are accustomed to, and may be needed for thought formulation.
- Consider whether the person comes from a more collective or individualistic culture. It may be appropriate to involve the person’s family or community in their healing journey.
For more information on working specifically with Aboriginal people in Canada, please see the following information sheet: Working Effectively with Aboriginal People.
For more information on cultural competency, the Government of Alberta has published a self-assessment guide “through which human service organizations can better understand cultural competency, reflect on their structures, policies and procedures, and plan and implement culturally competent practices.”
Copyright © 2014 Province of British Columbia.