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Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in The Dirt | 0 comments

Human Trafficking, Part 4: Looking for signs of human trafficking

Human Trafficking, Part 4: Looking for signs of human trafficking

One of the biggest weapons against human trafficking is raising awareness and knowing what to look for. It’s important to keep a dialogue with family, friends, and neighbors because this could be happening right in your community. Some warning signs of human trafficking to watch for include:

  • Sleeping bags in a place of work that indicate employees are living in the same place where they work and that backrooms appear to be living space
  • Workers appear exceptionally young or fearful or particularly submissive
  • Not allowing people to go into public alone or speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
  • 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.)
  • Person is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
  • When a worker answers casual questions with answers that seem scripted or rehearsed
  • 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

If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline toll free 888-373-7888.  You can also send text with the HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

You can use the texting option to report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area or to request training and anti-trafficking resources. In cases of immediate emergencies, call your local police department or 911.

When reporting a situation you believe to be human trafficking, be sure to provide this information in order to help law enforcement officials:

  • Describe details of the situation that led you to believe human labor trafficking was happening
  • How do you know it’s by force, fraud or coercion?
  • Names, addresses, phone number, license plate, demographics and physical description of the controller and/or victim

For more information on human trafficking, visit


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