How to Determine if Someone is a Victim of Human Trafficking
Evidence of being controlled
Evidence of inability to move or leave job
Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
Fear or depression
Not speaking on own behalf and/or non-English speaking
No passport or other forms of identification or documentation
What type of work do you do?
Are you being paid?
Can you leave your job if you want to?
Can you come and go as you please?
Have you or your family been threatened?
What are your working and living conditions like?
Where do you sleep and eat?
Do you have to ask permission to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom?
Are there locks on your doors/windows so you cannot get out?
Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?
How to Recognize a Child Victim of Human Trafficking
- Child victims of labor trafficking are often hungry or malnourished to the extent that they may never reach their full height, may have poorly formed or rotting teeth, and later may experience reproductive problems.
- The psychological signs of torture are helplessness, shame and humiliation, shock, denial and disbelief, disorientation and confusion, and anxiety disorders including post traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks and depression.
- Environmental factors can also aid in identifying child victims of trafficking, including whether the child is living at the workplace or with the employer, living with multiple people in a cramped space, and attending school sporadically, not at all or has a significant gap of schooling in the U.S.
- Victims may experience Traumatic Bonding (Stockholm Syndrome) – a form of coercive control in which the perpetrator instills in the victim fear as well as gratitude for being allowed to live or for any other perceived favors, however small.
- Traffickers of children are sometimes family members or sometimes condition their victims to refer to them by familial titles (e.g., uncle, aunt, cousin).