Learn to recognize the signs of slavery and exploitation. Victims may not necessarily stand out in a crowd. You don’t need to be a detective, but simply be aware of your surroundings.
- Evidence of being controlled.
- Evidence of inability to move or leave a job.
- Being a runaway or homeless youth
- A minor who is lying about age. “Dating” an older man. Having hotel room keys in his/her possession.
- A minor with multiple pregnancies or STI’s (sexually transmitted infections).
- Multiple abortions.
- Poor medical history and/or rotting teeth.
- Signs of physical abuse, malnutrition, stunted growth, substance abuse, and/or fear or depression.
- A minor with excessive money or jewelry.
- Branding or tattooing of trafficker’s name.
- Not speaking on his/her own behalf and/or unable to speak any of the primary language of the country residing in.
- No passport or other forms of identification or documentation.
Note: One sign on its own may not be an indication someone is a victim of slavery.
Questions to ask suspected victims:
- Are you free to come and go as you please?
- Has someone taken your papers or passport?
- Can you quit your job if you want?
- Do you owe your employer considerable debt?
- Have you been threatened or harmed?
- Are you being paid for your work?
- Has someone told you that the police will harm or deport you?
- Do you have to seek permission to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom?
How to help a victim:
- Reassure them. Let them know they are safe and no harm will come to them.
- In the USA, call the National Human Trafficking Center at 1.888.3737.888 and you will be directed to the most useful resources for aid.
- If you’re not in the USA, search the Internet for anti-trafficking organizations in the area and ask for aid, or go to a local police station.
- The U.S. State Department does provide a list of hotline numbers in other countries.