Recognize the signs of Human Traffricking

As National Human Trafficking Prevention Month draws to a close, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King continues to highlight the importance of education and outreach in the prevention, identification, and disruption of human trafficking activity, and commends community organizations for their partnership and provision of trauma-informed services to trafficking victims and survivors.
“We simply cannot, and will not, live in a society where human trafficking is allowed to happen,” said U.S. Attorney King this morning during a human trafficking awareness event hosted by Present Age Ministries, an organization dedicated to the prevention of the sex trafficking of minors. Present Age Ministries is also a member of the Charlotte Metro Human Trafficking Task Force, a coalition of law enforcement, prosecutors, and service providers committed to supporting survivors and eliminating the crime of human trafficking through prevention and intervention strategies.
“It is important to bring this sinister crime out of the shadows – where it thrives – and into the forefront – where it belongs – where we can learn about it, understand it, and educate others, so together we can fight against it,” U.S. Attorney King expressed in her remarks, and noted her Office’s renewed commitment to eradicating human trafficking by partnering with law enforcement agencies and the community to bring traffickers to justice, protect victims, and empower survivors.
To further those efforts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has a team of experienced prosecutors and personnel that handle human trafficking cases. A federal prosecutor also serves as the Western District’s Human Trafficking Coordinator, and works closely with the Office’s Victim Witness Assistance Unit to ensure that the rights and needs of trafficking victims remain central throughout the investigation and prosecution of each case. The Victim Witness Assistance Unit also partners with the Charlotte Metro Human Trafficking Task Force and other non-governmental organizations and service providers to ensure that appropriate trauma-informed care and resources are made available to rescued trafficking victims and survivors.
“Brokering relationships and building strategic partnerships at the local, state, and federal level is vital to creating a network of resources that can provide holistic support to victims of human trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney King. “I want to thank all the partner agencies, public and
private, for their dedication to eradicating human trafficking and for sharing their resources, insights, and understanding of victim-centered care. Their work helps us better-serve victims and bring traffickers to justice.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also committed to raising awareness by educating the public on how to identify signs of human trafficking and where to report suspected trafficking activity.
While there are no defining characteristics of a human trafficking situation, recognizing the signs, or indicators, is the first step in identifying this crime. The presence of one or more of the red flags below may signal a human trafficking situation that should be reported:

  • Limited freedom – trafficking victims may have security measures in their work and/or living locations, their movements are monitored, or they are not free to come and go as they please.
  • Lack of control – trafficking victims may have few or no personal possessions, are not in control of their money, owe a suspiciously large debt to an employer and are unable to pay it off, do not possess their identification documents and personal records, appear fearful, are unable or unwilling to communicate freely, and when they do, their answers seems scripted or rehearsed.
  • Suspicious/Unsafe working conditions – trafficking victims may work excessively long hours with no breaks and under poor conditions, show signs of physical abuse, appear deprived of food, water, sleep, or medical care, and are under 18-years-old and engaged in commercial sex.

If you encounter a potential trafficking situation and can communicate with a suspected victim without jeopardizing the victim’s safety, the following questions may assist in determining if someone is in a trafficking situation:

  • Has someone hurt you/do you need help?
  • Are you safe/scared?
  • Where do you sleep and eat?
  • Are you able to come and go as you please?
  • Have you been hurt or threatened with violence if you attempted to leave?
  • Has the safety of your family been threatened?
  • Do you live with your employer?
  • Can you leave the job if you want to?
  • Do you owe a debt to your employer?
  • Do you have your passport/identification? If not, who has it?

If you believe you are the victim of human trafficking or have information about a potential trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Specialists are available to answer calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also send a text to 233733 or submit a tip online. You can also contact the Charlotte Office of the FBI at 704-672-6100, or your local law enforcement agency.
To further enhance awareness and educate the community about human trafficking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office also has released a Public Service Announcement on how to identify potential trafficking situations and where to report suspected human trafficking activity.

Related Posts