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What are the Signs
 

The following is a list of potential red flags and indicators of human trafficking to help you recognize the signs.


 

 

If you see any of these red flags, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text to BeFree (233733) for specialized victim services referrals or to report the situation. Click here to learn more about reporting potential human trafficking situations. This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. Also, the red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases and are not cumulative.

Common Work and Living Conditions: The Individual(s) in Question

  • Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
  • Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
  • Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
  • High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)

Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior

  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
  • Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
  • Avoids eye contact

Poor Physical Health

  • Lacks health care
  • Appears malnourished
  • Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture

Lack of Control

  • Has few or no personal possessions
  • Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
  • Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
  • Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)

Other

  • Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
  • Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
  • Loss of sense of time
  • Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
 

 

Sex trafficking occurs when people are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will.  Child sex trafficking includes any child involved in commercial sex.  Sex traffickersfrequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry.  Sex trafficking exists within the broader commercial sex trade, often at much larger rates than most people realize or understand.  Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues of the overall sex industry, including residential brothelshostess clubs, online escort servicesfake massage businessesstrip clubs, and street prostitution.​

What is Human Trafficking
Labor Trafficking

​Labor traffickers use violence, threats, lies, and other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will in many different industries.  Common types of labor trafficking include people forced to work in homes as domestic servantsfarmworkers coerced through violence as they harvest crops, orfactory workers held in inhumane conditions with little to no pay.  In the United States, these forms of forced labor are more prevalent than many people realize.  However, Polaris Project and others working in the human trafficking field are learning more on a daily basis about the different types of labor trafficking that exist amongst us.  In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines labor trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.”

Child Sex Trafficking

Chils Sex Trafficking is alive and well here in the United States. Until the DEMAND is gone, the supply will continue to grow. ​

 

The threats that these young people face every day. Threats of a family memeber being killed, such as their parents or their siblings, creates a reality that often times blinds the child into beleiving that the "pimp" will follow through with thier threats.