January marks National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings through recruitment or abduction by means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of forced labor, debt bondage, or sexual exploitation.
There are currently 30 million people enslaved throughout the world with 3 million located in the United States. Florida is ranked third across the nation as the worst state for human trafficking. This is due to its thriving agriculture and tourism industries, two industries where trafficking can flourish.
A trafficking victim can be targeted by traffickers through social media websites, telephone chat lines, or even after-school programs. Studies show that the average age a child is trafficked into the commercial sex trade is between 12 and 14 years old. In some cases, teens that are already involved with traffickers recruit other young victims to become trafficked too, and a person can be trafficked without ever leaving their hometown.
Some people are more likely to be trafficked than others. A person’s vulnerability to exploitation can be increased by certain factors such as poverty, the lack of an education or job opportunities, race, social caste, internally displaced people, and refugees.
If you or someone needs help, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline available 24/7 at: 1-888-373-7888 or Text 233733.
We believe every woman, man, and child deserves the right to be free from violence and exploitation. Here are some signs you can learn to help or report a possible victim.
SPOT THE SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
- False job promises
- Very long shifts
- No equipment provided
- No contract/payslip
- Little or no pay
- Money controlled by someone else
- Money owed to someone else
- Transported to and from work
- Travel paid and organized by someone else or unknown
- Threats to the person or their family
- In fear of someone
- Isolated from others
- Signs of abuse/mistreatment
- Avoid eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures/law enforcement
- Lack of personal possessions
- Scripted or rehearsed responses in social interaction
- Tattoos/ branding on the neck and/or lower back
- Too many people
- Bad conditions
- Unknown address
ID AND DOCUMENTS
- No ID
- ID is taken by someone else
- Fake ID given