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Human trafficking is the illegal trade of people for the purpose of slavery, sexual exploitation and forced labor. It includes the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, or deception, of the abuse of power for the purpose of exploitation or servitude.

The 3 most common types of human trafficking are sex trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage. Forced labor, also known as involuntary servitude, is the biggest sector of trafficking in the world.

The more common examples of Human Trafficking:

  • Forced prostitution
  • Forced labor services
  • Slavery practices
  • Removal of organs

Since human trafficking is a crime that is hidden in plain sight, it is important to recognize some of the warning signs:

  • Appearing malnourished.
  • Showing signs of physical injuries and abuse.
  • Avoiding eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures/law enforcement.
  • Seeming to adhere to scripted or rehearsed responses in social interaction.
  • Lacking official identification documents.
  • Appearing destitute/lacking personal possessions.
  • Working excessively long hours.
  • Living at place of employment.
  • Checking into hotels/motels with older males, and referring to those males as boyfriend or “daddy,” which is often street slang for pimp.
  • Poor physical or dental health.
  • Tattoos/ branding on the neck and/or lower back.
  • Untreated sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Small children serving in a family restaurant.
  • Security measures that appear to keep people inside an establishment - barbed wire inside of a fence, bars covering the insides of windows.
  • Not allowing people to go into public alone, or speak for themselves.