Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and a serious crime. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to make victims engage in labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and a serious crime. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to make victims engage in labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States.

Human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second only to drug trafficking. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use the following methods to lure victims into trafficking situations:

  • Violence
  • Manipulation
  • False promises of well-paying jobs
  • Romantic relationships

Language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement frequently keep victims from seeking help, making human trafficking a hidden crime.

Traffickers look for people who are easy targets for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Psychological or emotional vulnerability
  • Economic hardship
  • Lack of a social safety net
  • Natural disasters
  • Political instability

Human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second only to drug trafficking. Here are some important facts:

  • Children account for half of the victims of human trafficking. In fact, the average age that a young person becomes involved in sex trafficking is 12 years old. If the victim is a minor, no force, fraud, or coercion is necessary to prove trafficking. Any youth under the age of 18 who is involved in a commercial sex act is considered to be a victim of trafficking.
  • Sex traffickers’ prey on vulnerable people, especially young people, and often lure them with promises of protection, love, or adventure. They may contact potential victims through social media or approach them at clubs and bars, at school, in malls, or in metro stations.
  • Labor trafficking includes situations of debt bondage, forced labor, and involuntary child labor. Common types of labor trafficking include people forced to work in homes as domestic servants and factory workers held in inhumane conditions with little to no pay.

Victims of human trafficking are often afraid to come forward and unable to leave traffickers because of trauma, physical violence, fear of harm to their families, having nowhere else to go, or a distrust of authority figures.

Human trafficking Advocacy aims to raise awareness, promote prevention, support survivors, and advocate for stronger laws and policies to combat this crime. The human trafficking advocacy centre also supports and helps the victims to heal from the trauma.

Human Trafficking

Indicators Of Human Trafficking

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life.

Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking.

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

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Red Flags And Warning Signs

The sale of children for sex occurs worldwide, and unfortunately even happens here in the District of Columbia. If you learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking, you could help to save someone’s life.


  • Running away from home.
  • Truancy/not attending school.
  • Possessing cell phones that they did not purchase on their own.
  • Making purchases with credit cards that do not belong to them.
  • Older boyfriends
  • Signs of physical abuse such as burn marks, bruises, or cuts.
  • New tattoos (traffickers often use tattoos as a form of branding)
  • Signs of gang affiliation.


  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips.
  • Works excessively long or unusual hours.
  • Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes.
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off.
  • Withholds of documents such as passport/security card; and
  • High security measures exist in the work or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)​

What Can You Do To Help?

Be alert for the signs of human trafficking. If you do see signs, do not attempt to confront suspected traffickers or victims, but please do alert the authorities.


  • Advocacy for human trafficking
  • Legal services
  • Medical resources
  • Court accompaniment
  • Prevention educational programs
  • Peer counseling
  • Support throughout legal proceedings
  • Victim Advocacy with law enforcement, court personnel, and legal services


What is human trafficking?

The transportation of individuals from one place to another through force or fraud for exploitation is human trafficking. It comes under the violation of human rights, and it is a serious crime. The individuals are forced into labor, sexual activities, or organ trafficking.

Is human trafficking the same thing as sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking, but it is not the same. Human trafficking is both sexual exploitation and forced labor. Sex trafficking is recruiting a person solely for a commercial sex act.

How can I protect my child from getting kidnapped and trafficked?

Encourage open and honest communication with your kid, and teach them about boundaries and people’s behavior. Educate the kid on how to react and respond to dangers. Make sure to make your child understand internet safety, and report if there is any suspicious activity.

How often do human trafficking victims interact with healthcare providers?

Human trafficking victims are complex because of their experiences. They may interact with a healthcare provider in case of seeking medical attention for physical injuries, substance abuse issues, etc.

How can Shelter Home CC help with human trafficking?

Shelter Home CC has a team of trained and professional staff who knows how to address the needs of human trafficking victims. We provide a secure and supportive environment that assures the individuals. Our shelter services offer immediate attention and fulfill the basic needs at the very moment.