Interpreting for the Vulnerable





By the nature of the work they do, interpreters are often faced with opportunities to facilitate communication for vulnerable sectors of society. In this presentation, we will explore one such group, survivors of human trafficking.

Participants will be walked through possible experiences of victims of human trafficking, including the voluntary or involuntary departure from their home, and the many characteristics that shape their perspective and frame of reference, including how to recognize red flags to spot trafficking victims. We will also discuss the distinct role interpreters play in various stages of a survivor’s journey and additional communication challenges that arise from the trauma that the victim has experienced. We will touch on the ethical and legal implications interpreting for the victims and survivors may have on the interpreter, including the cross-roads between legal and ethical responsibility to maintain confidentiality and reporting obligations. We will review the tools and resources that are available for victims, survivors and those who serve them, such as interpreters. Participants will learn the principles of trauma-informed care, gain understanding of trauma-informed interviewing, learn how to avoid re-traumatization of victims and survivors, and garner strategies to manage difficult situations when interpreting for Human Trafficking victims and survivors.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding Human Trafficking in general
  • Understanding the survivors’ journey
  • Recognizing the signs of Human Trafficking
  • Understanding the victim’s mindset
  • Understanding interpreters’ roles in providing trauma informed care
  • Understanding interpreter’s role in not re-traumatizing the victim
  • Discuss interpreter challenges