We would all like to believe that if we saw injustice, we would know exactly what it looks like and we would put a stop to it. Unfortunately, things are not always what they appear to be. That is why educating ourselves regarding indicators and warning signs of human trafficking is so important. We can’t fight injustice and help those in need if we don’t know what injustice can actually look like.
WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO TELL?
Could little “Jimmy”, who helps his uncle at your favorite family restaurant, be a trafficking victim?
Could the panhandler by the mall be a trafficking victim?
Could your neighbor’s new live-in nanny be a trafficking victim?
Could the quiet girl with a reputation for having many partners be a trafficking victim?
Let’s try a quiz. Here are a few multiple choice questions regarding labor and sex trafficking. Be aware that there may be multiple correct answers for a question.
1. In which of the following jobs does labor trafficking most commonly occur?
B. Food Service
C. Elder Care
D. Traveling Sales Crews
2. Sex trafficking victims most regularly are:
A. Foreign Nationals
D. Homeless Men
3. Which of the following is a possible sign of human trafficking?
A. Works long hours
B. Doesn’t seem to know where they are
C. Shows signs of substance abuse/addiction
D. None of the above
4. How do perpetrators lure/trap their victims into being trafficked?
D. Flyers for jobs
1. All of the listed fields are correct. Other fields include domestic servitude (such as being a nanny), health and beauty services (such as in nail and massage salons), landscaping, hospitality, forestry, carnivals, manufacturing, and retail.
2. While women make up 70% of all sex trafficking victims, all of the answers are correct. The poor, homeless, and otherwise vulnerable are the next most common to be sex trafficked.
3. A, B, C. It is important to recognize that A and C can seem like common occurrences, and are more likely to be overlooked. However, in conjunction with other indicators, such as appearing malnourished, avoiding social interaction (especially with law enforcement or other authorities), lacking any identification, speaking in such a way that appears scripted and inconsistent, and owing a debt that never seems to get paid off no matter how much they do work, it is that much more likely that the individual(s) in that situation may be trafficking victims.
4. All of these tactics are ways traffickers have lured their victims. Jeffery Epstein used his victims to recruit other victims by handing out flyers to other girls at school. Some sex trafficking victims fall prey to the “Romeo Pimp” tactic, wherein they are led to believe they are in a relationship and loved by their perpetrator, who later enslaves them. Trafficking victims are coerced with violence, threats, debt, addiction, and isolation so that their traffickers can maintain control over them.
How did you do? Did you spot the trafficking victim every time? As mentioned before, things may not always be what they appear to be, and it is so crucial that if you see multiple factors that could indicate human trafficking, you should reach out, because the victims may not be able to.
If you suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking contact local law enforcement, or
The National Human Trafficking Hotline
1 (888) 373-7888
Arkansas Valley Resource Center Staff is also available to answer your questions or help determine how to assist possible victims of Human Trafficking. Call 24/7!
415 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050
TTY: (719) 384-1938
After Hours Colorado Relay dial 711 or 1-800-659-2656
AVRC is non-discriminatory agency regarding race, religion, color, gender, country of national origin, sexual orientation, mental health status, substance use or economic condition.