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Human Trafficking Signs and Questions

Signs of human trafficking and questions to ask from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Signs to look for:

  • Evidence of being controlled/accompanied by another person who seems to dominate
  • Evidence of inability to move, leave a job or even allowed in public unaccompanied
  • Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
  • Fear, depression, submissiveness
  • Not speaking on own behalf and/or non English-speaking
  • No passport or other identification

Questions to ask:

  • What type of work do you do?
  • Are you being paid? Can you keep what you earn or is someone holding it for you?
  • Can you leave your job if you want to?
  • Can you come and go as you please?
  • Have you or your family been threatened?
  • What are your working and living conditions like?
  • Where do you sleep and eat?
  • Do you have to ask permission to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom?
  • Are there locks on your doors/windows so you cannot get out?
  • Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?

For children:

  • Why did you come to the US? What did you expect when you came? Were you scared?
  • Do you have any papers? Who has them?
  • Are you in school? Are you working? Can you leave if you want?
  • Where do you live? Who else lives there? Are you scared to leave?
  • Has anybody ever threatened you to keep you from running away?
  • Did anyone ever touch you or hurt you?

If you suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking call the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline 1-888-373-7888

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