I promised to list the signs and red flags, which may indicate human trafficking is happening in your community. End Modern Slavery Now, Homeland Security's Campaign Blue, the Polaris Project, and The Somaly mam organization, all have sites you can visit and they also supply contact information if you do suspect human trafficking is going on in your neighborhood.
If you see any of these red flags, act quickly and contact the authorities.
1. Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes.
2. Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts.
3. Works excessively long and or unusual hours.
4. Shows signs of physical and/ or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture. Has the victim been deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or other life necessities? Does the victim have freedom of movement.
5. Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport).
6. Is not allowed to speak for themselves ( a third party may insist on being present and/ or translating).
7. Was the victim recruited for one purpose and forced to engage in some other job?
8. Is the victim's salary being garnished to pay off a smuggling fee? (Paying off a smuggling fee alone is not considered trafficking).
9. Victim is forced to perform sexual acts.
10. Has the victim or family been threatened with harm if the victim attempts to escape? Has the victim been threatened with deportation or law enforcement action?
11. Can the victim freely contact friends or family? Is the victim allowed to socialize or attend religious services?
The practice of human trafficking, which is the fastest growing criminal industry second only to drug trafficking, is widespread and every country in the world is involved in this web, including ours. I hope the signs I've listed, help all neighborhood watch groups, our local Police, and every concerned citizen.
Here are two contact numbers if you suspect human trafficking: The National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or the United States Department of Justice at 1-888-428-7581