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Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

DHS Blue Campaign
https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement.

Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.

Many myths and misconceptions exist. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Not all indicators listed are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

The safety of the public as well as the victim is paramount. Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.

Awareness Videos

The dramatized scenarios depict indicators of sex trafficking — a crime committed when a trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to compel another person to perform commercial sex acts. Human trafficking victims are often invisible because we do not recognize indicators of human trafficking. Identifying signs of human trafficking and reporting a tip may save a life.

Human Trafficking and Native Communities

This video depicts what human trafficking can look like in Native communities including recruiting tactics used by traffickers. The video ends with a comprehensive overview of how to recognize and report human trafficking.

Click here to visit page with the full Ericka Series Videos...

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 Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 for specialized victim services referrals or to report the situation. Click here to learn more about reporting potential human trafficking situations.

The presence of these red flags is an indication that further assessment may be necessary to identify a potential human trafficking situation. 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. Indicators reference conditions a potential victim might exhibit.

Common Work and Living Conditions:
  • Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
  • 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 medical care and/or is denied medical services by employer
  • Appears malnourished or shows signs of repeated exposure to harmful chemicals
  • 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 of what city he/she is in
  • Loss of sense of time
  • Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story

Note: According to federal law, any minor under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of the presence of force, fraud, or coercion.

If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

Toolkits

The Blue Campaign creates a variety of toolkits for various communities to raise awareness against the heinous crime of human trafficking. These toolkits provide an overview of human trafficking, how it affects the community, provides information to recognize and report suspected incidents of human trafficking, and posters for display.

Attachment Size
PDF icon Student Advocate Toolkit (English) 1.47 MB
PDF icon Hospitality Toolkit (English) 903.27 KB
PDF icon Hospitality Toolkit (Spanish) 1.4 MB
PDF icon Transportation Toolkit (English) 1002.18 KB
PDF icon Faith-Based & Community Toolkit (English) 651.95 KB


What You Can Do...

Use Blue Campaign materials to raise awareness among your constituency.
Visit our webpage: www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.
“Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bluecampaign.

If you suspect that a person may be a victim of human trafficking, please call the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Tip-line at 1-866-347-2423. You can also report online at www.ice.gov/tips.

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