Interpreting for the Vulnerable

Language Access & Cultural Mediation for Survivors of Human Trafficking


Ludmila Golovine


1.5 Hours




Not Available


On Demand



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


Ludmila “Mila” Golovine has been an advocate for victims and survivors of Human Trafficking since the start of her interpreting career. Golovine volunteers for and supports various projects to inspire, promote, and develop solutions to end sexual abuse, exploitation, and violence against children, particularly those related to stopping the exploitation of minors online. Golovine actively participates as a member of the United Against Human Trafficking Coalition and is part of the Coalition survivor services committee where she participated in creating Guidelines for the Provision of Interpretation and/or Translation Services for Trafficked Persons and Survivors. She helps victims and survivors through her support of the World Childhood Foundation, and work with the Rothko Chapel as a member of the Board of Directors.

As a professional interpreter, Golovine is familiar with the toll interpreting for these victims may have on the interpreters themselves. Golovine, therefore, works tirelessly to help promote health and wellness to those in the language services industry and raise awareness about the experiences of human trafficking victims and their language access needs.

Golovine and MasterWord are committed to providing trauma-informed services and have launched training and tools for language professionals as well as trauma-informed providers who work with language professionals to foster a partnership that creates an environment conducive to healing and avoid re-traumatization of victims and survivors.

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