humantraffickingHuman Trafficking is a severe form of exploitation of another person involving force, fraud, or coercion for labor or commercial sexual purposes. Trafficking does not require transportation of a person(s) across state or country borders, and may involve U.S. citizens and/or foreign nationals.

Human Trafficking crosses all age, race and socio-economic lines and can happen to anyone although there are some contributing factors that can cause a person to be at risk for trafficking.

These vulnerabilities can include:

  • History of sexual abuse, neglect or domestic violence
  • Family background in commercial sex
  • Displaced by social or natural disaster
  • Is part of an undocumented, stateless, or ostracized social group
  • Poverty
  • Unstable or inconsistent family conditions (i.e., parental absence or neglect, substance abuse, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, multiple foster homes)
  • Running away or truancy
  • Poor family ties or turbulent relationship with family
  • Low self-esteem or self-worth
  • Experimenting with risky sexual behaviors or drugs

Human Trafficking: Know It When You See It

  • Seems anxious, fearful or paranoid.  Avoids eye contact.
  • Work but receive little or no pay
  • Cannot leave their job to find another one
  • Do not have control over their wages or money
  • Have no choice about hours worked or under what conditions
  • Show signs of physical abuse or injury
  • Are accompanied everywhere by someone who speaks for them
  • Appear to be fearful of or under the control of another person
  • Have health issues that have not been attended to
  • May describe moving or changing jobs suddenly and often
  • Are unfamiliar with the neighborhood where they live or work
  • Are travelling with minimal or inappropriate luggage/belongings
  • Lack identification, passport or other travel documents
  • Are laborers, domestic servants, or caretakers but never leave the home or workplace
  • Are unable to freely contact friends or family
  • Are not allowed to socialize or attend religious services
  • Have restricted freedom of movement
  • Are a juvenile engaged in a commercial sex act
  • Are a recent arrival to the United States and do not speak English.

 To learn more, go to the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking website: