We are coming upon a season when many of us will be on the road travelling. While at rest stops and airports, you may come upon a potential trafficking situation.
In a story in IJReview, A trucker shared how he faced such a situation this year and became a lifeline to someone trapped in sex trafficking. He happened to see the face of a distraught girl in a windoof an RV and activity that tipped him off to what was happening. He called authorities who arrested two traffickers and rescued a 20-year old female. See the article and video here.
Shared Hope Int’l provides a fact sheet on signs of trafficking while travelling. This includes terms pertaining to sex trafficking one might overhear and signs one may observe about the potential victim, the environment, and circumstances. Download and print to review and have handy when you are travelling.
If you see a potential trafficking situation, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 888-373-7888, wherever you are at for assistance. They can contact the appropriate local responders and provide guidance to callers.
Are you a trucker or travel frequently? You can be an important aid by being a lookout for potential trafficking. Get resources and assistance from Truckers Against Human Trafficking.
Even if you aren’t a trucker, the Truckers Against Trafficking phone app provides signs of trafficking and numbers to call and is a great resource for anyone.
If you are planning on flying, CNN Freedom Project provide a list of signs, compiled from human trafficking response organizations, to look for in an educational article this summer (visit article for details). These might not mean someone is being trafficked, but could be an indicator. If you suspect a trafficking situation, contact airport authorities, police, or the National Human Trafficking Hotline:
1. A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel.
2. They have a tattoo with a bar code, the word “Daddy.”
3. They can’t provide details of their departure location, destination, or flight information.
4. Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story
5. They can’t move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed.
6 . They are afraid to discuss themselves around others, deferring any attempts at conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them.
7. Child trafficking: A child being trafficked for sexual exploitation may be dressed in a sexualized manner, or seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars, or cigarette burns.
Main tip: If anything seems “off,” contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Operators are trained to help you.