Signs of Human Trafficking


To be a lifeline to a victim, keep alert. Pay attention to those around you, especially those others may overlook. Human trafficking affects those who are vulnerable. Set aside stereotypes and keep in mind that human trafficking could be present anywhere. Remove the assumption that employees are being treated according to labor laws. For more information specifically about victims in the United States, see Polaris Project

Look out for these red flags and if a situation seems like it may be a trafficking situation, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-3737-888 to report the situation and for assistance.

Suspicious activity can also be reported to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security criminal investigations at 886-DHS-2423, which focuses on investigating human trafficking and protecting victims regardless of their residential status.

This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of
possible indicators.

Common Work and Living Conditions: The Individual(s) in Question

•Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
•Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
•Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp /
•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.
•Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or
•Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after
bringing up law enforcement
•Avoids eye contact

Poor Health Care

•Lacks health care
•Appears malnourished
•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)
•Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she
is staying/address
•Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know
what city he/she is in
•Loss of sense of time
•Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her storyform_social_ser_migrant_pos

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Equipping those in the Central Valley to effectively address human trafficking

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