Knowledge Of These Warning Signs Of Human Trafficking Can Save Someone's Life

Date November 13, 2018

Human trafficking doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can become a victim of such an outrageous injustice – your wife, daughter, mother, close friend, etc. According to the International Labor Organization, human trafficking is the second largest illegal business, which makes around $150 billion a year. Even though most of this criminal activity occurs in developing countries, the US also suffers from thousands of human trafficking cases. To be precise, nearly 50,000 people have been trafficked in the last decade. The most common types of human trafficking are forced labor, sexual exploitation, and organ harvesting. We hope you are now convinced that the problem is real. Learning signs of human trafficking to be able to recognize it on practice is the most efficient way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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Signs of human trafficking: how to identify human traffickers

The first preventative method is to learn the characteristics of human trafficking perpetrators. Unfortunately, anyone can be a trafficker, not just suspicious men. But it is believed that women are less likely to be perpetrators, especially in the US. Moreover, they can be of any race, age, and nationality. In most cases, it is hard to distinguish traffickers from ordinary people. However, often, the one thing that gives them away is their behavior.

Traffickers use special tactics and strategies to lure and basically abduct their victims. They might do it forcefully or by deceiving the target. The most common tactics include offering an easy, high-paying job, a modeling contract, role in a movie, etc. Then, the traffickers would use all sorts of physical and emotional abuse, to take control of their victims and make them dependent.

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Signs of human trafficking: indicators of victims

It is almost impossible to recognize a trafficker, but it is relatively easier to spot a victim. Often, victims of human trafficking wouldn’t try to escape for numerous reasons, but they would show the signs of needing help. Such indicators, also called “red flags,” include the following:

  • signs of physical abuse: bruises, fractures, cuts, scars, and burns;
  • signs of psychological trauma: from severe depression and anxiety to Stockholm’s Syndrome;
  • absence of personal ID documents;
  • scripted or vague communication;
  • possible incomprehension of where the victim is and why;
  • refusing to receive help;
  • possible signs of branding: specific tattoos or jewelry;
  • signs of malnourishment;
  • not knowing the language or not having a phone number;
  • usually, they are never alone: the person next to the victim is extremely controlling.

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Before taking any actions, try to answer the following questions to determine whether someone is indeed a victim of human trafficking:

  1. Are they forced to do something?
  2. Are they allowed to leave their workplace?
  3. Do they have a passport or other personal documents?
  4. What are their working/living conditions?
  5. Do they believe they work because of a debt they owe? Are they paid for their work?

Knowledge Of These Warning Signs Of Human Trafficking Can Save Someone's /

Traffickers look for vulnerable people to exploit them by using false promises, force, coercion and other methods for financial gain. Please, report any suspicious cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or call 9-1-1 if there is a real and immediate risk to the victim’s life. But remember, human trafficking is a highly organized crime – don’t put yourself at risk! When you connect with the services, provide complete information, including your data. This greatly increases the chance that the authorities will take the appropriate actions and the case will be investigated.

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