Here are some signs a person may be being trafficked for sexual or labor exploitation. More complete lists are at the Department of Homeland Security’s site at www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/indicators-human-trafficking or National Human Trafficking Hotline’s site at www.humantraffickinghotline.org/human-trafficking/recognizing-signs.
For signs youth are being sexually exploited or trafficked, go to www.gacares.org.
Officials stress one sign or even two may not indicate a person is being trafficked, but a growing number could warrant a call to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Common work and living conditions:
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▪ 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.
▪ High security measures exist in the workplace or living location.
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.
▪ Appears malnourished.
▪ Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, restraint, confinement or torture.
Lack of Control:
▪ Has few or no personal possessions.
▪ Is not in control of his/her own money or identification documents.
▪ Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves.
▪ Inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address.
▪ Lack of knowledge of whereabouts or local city.
▪ 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.
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