From the organization, A21
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO IDENTIFY A VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human trafficking looks radically different depending on where you are. This crime is often hidden in plain sight. It may occur in places you don’t expect, like your local gas stations, schools, workplaces, and sporting events.
Every trafficking scenario is unique, but understanding the common signs of exploitation will help you recognize potential trafficking situations and make a report. Check out (A21) website for a list of indicators and red flags to watch out for.
LEARN THE SIGNS OF EXPLOITATION
CONTROLLED BY ANOTHER PERSON
They are accompanied by a controlling person, and do not speak on his or her own behalf, but instead defer to another person.
LACK OF EARNINGS
They are unable to keep his or her earnings: it is “withheld for safekeeping.” In many cases, the person owes a debt they are working to pay off.
OVERLY FEARFUL, DEPRESSED, AND SUBMISSIVE BEHAVIOR
They are frightened to talk to outsiders and authorities since they are closely monitored and controlled by their trafficker(s). They may be fearful, anxious, depressed, overly submissive, and may avoid eye contact.
LACK OF OFFICIAL IDENTIFICATION
They are not in possession of their passports, identification, or legal documents.
They may show signs of drug use or drug addiction. They can be forced or coerced into drug use by his or her traffickers, or turn to substance abuse to help cope with his or her enslavement.
LACK OF PERSONAL BELONGINGS
They may have few or no personal possessions.
DECEIVED BY A FALSE JOB OFFER
Their actual job is different from the advertised job they had accepted.
They are transported to or from work, or live and work at the same place. They show signs that their movements are being controlled.
UNFAMILIAR WITH THE LANGUAGE
They have recently arrived in the country and do not speak the language of the country—or they only know sex-related or labor-related words.
BAD HEALTH AND MALNUTRITION
They may have signs of abuse or signs of being denied food, water, sleep, and/or medical care.
SIGNS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE
They may have bruises, scars, and other signs of physical abuse and torture. Victims of human trafficking are often beaten in areas that will not damage their appearance, such as their lower back.
LACK OF TRUST
They may be distrustful and suspicious. A victim of human trafficking may act as if they distrust any person who offers them assistance or attempts to converse with them..
SIGNS OF DEPENDENCE
They may demonstrate affection, attachment, or dependence toward their abuser.
FEELINGS OF BEING TRAPPED
They feel that they are unable to leave their current situation.
Do you know what to do if you suspect trafficking taking place?
Make a report
In the U. S. text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE)24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline