CCAHT
Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking

 

Recognize the Signs of Human Trafficking

Provided by the Polaris Project

This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. Also, the red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases and are not cumulative.

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 / manager
  • 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.)

Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior

  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
  • Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
  • Avoids eye contact

Poor Physical Health

  • 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)

Other

  • 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 story 

If you suspect signs of human trafficking, please contact your local law enforcement.

 

Human Trafficking Quick Facts

 

300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation. -U.S. Department of Justice

600,000 – 800,000 people are bought and sold across international borders each year; most are female. The majority of these victims are forced into the commercial sex trade. – U.S. Department of State, 2004, Trafficking in Persons Report, Washington, D.C.

Estimated that 80% of human trafficking victims are women and 50% are children. (Trafficking in Persons Report 2007. U.S. Department of State)

Forced labor is most prevalent in five sectors of the U.S. economy; prostitution and sex services (46%); domestic service (27%); agriculture (10%); sweatshop/factory work (5%); and restaurant and hotel work (4%). (NFS, Batstone)

Mexican, eastern European, and Asian crime syndicates run extensive trafficking rings inside the United States. They particularly target migrant groups. (NFS, Batstone) 

The average age of entry into prostitution or the commercial sex industry in the U.S. is 11 to 14 years old. (Shared Hope International) 

A 2002 study indicated that 90% of runaways become part of the commercial sex industry. (Shared Hope International)

Studies indicate that prostituted children serve between two and thirty clients per week, leading to a shocking estimated base of anywhere between 100 to 1500 clients per year, per child. Younger children, many below the age of 10, have been increasingly drawn into serving tourists. (Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section)

An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year. The number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country is even higher, with an estimated 200,000 American children at risk for trafficking into the sex industry. – U.S. Department of Justice Report to Congress from Attorney General John Ashcroft on U.S. Government Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons

An estimated 2.5 million children, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multi billion dollar commercial sex industry – UNICEF

There are open sex slavery cases in all 50 States. An estimated 10,000 sex slaves exist in New York City. -- Red Light Children Campaign

Investigators and researchers estimate the average predator in the U.S. can make more than $200,000 a year off one young girl. – NBC Report by Teri Williams 

 

Please review this report for a more complete list of human trafficking statistics. 

 

 

Trafficking vs. Smuggling*

Trafficking vs. Smuggling: What’s the Difference?

“Human trafficking” are distinct criminal activities, and the terms are not interchangeable. Human trafficking centers on exploitation and is generally defined as:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • Recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.

Human smuggling centers on transportation and is generally defined as:

  • Importation of people into the United States involving deliberate evasion of immigration laws. This offense includes bringing illegal aliens into the country, as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in the United States.

 * According to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

 

August 29, 2010

Human Trafficking Coyote's are the problem, not refugees

August 30, 2010

How smuggled immigrants quickly became trafficking victims.

 

Elements of human trafficking*

On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements;

The Act (What is done)

Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons

The Means (How it is done)

Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim

The Purpose (Why it is done)

For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.

* United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

 

According to the Polaris Project, the following may be signs that someone may be a victim of trafficking: 

  • Workers who have had their ID, passport, or documents taken away
  • Workers who show signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • Workers who show signs of emotional abuse
  • Workers who are being threatened by or are in debt to their boss
  • Workers who are under 18 and are involved in the commercial sex industry
  • Workers who are not free to leave or come and go from their place of work as they wish
  • Workers who don't seem to be receiving payment

If you think you see a human trafficking situation, you should ask the potential victim the following questions. These questions were compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Can you leave your job or situation if you want?
  • Can you come and go as you please?
  • Have you been threatened if you try to leave?
  • Have you been physically harmed in any way?
  • What are your working or living conditions like?
  • Where do you sleep and eat?
  • Do you sleep in a bed, on a cot, or on the floor?
  • Have you ever been deprived of food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Do you have to ask permission to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom?
  • Are there locks on your doors and windows so you cannot get out?
  • Has anyone threatened your family?
  • Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?
  • Is anyone forcing you to do anything that you do not want to do?

 

If you are a victim of human trafficking and need immediate help or if you suspect a potential trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline now.

1-888-3737-888
Toll-free | 24-hours, 7 days a week | Confidential

 

 

 

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TN Human Trafficking Hotline 855-55-TNHTH (86484)

National Human Trafficking Resource Center 888-3737-888
Toll-free | 24-hours, 7 days a week | Confidential
 

Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking - United to be a light in the darkness.

2095 Lakeside Centre Way . Suite 101 . Knoxville, TN . 865.236.1046 . info@ccaht.org