Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
July 9, 2008
How Can I Recognize Trafficking Victims?
Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Annually, about 800,000 people—mostly women and children—are trafficked across national borders. This number does not count the millions of people trafficked within their own countries. Because trafficking in persons is usually an “underground” crime, it can be difficult to identify. Most trafficking victims will not readily volunteer information about their status due to a combination of fear, intimidation, abuse, and psychological controls they’ve suffered at the hands of their trafficker—including threats of retribution to themselves or family members.
Where are Trafficking Victims Likely to be Found?
Victims of sex trafficking are often found on the streets or working in establishments that offer commercial sex acts, either overtly or under some other guise, such as massage parlors, escort services, adult bookstores, modeling studios, and bars/strip clubs.
Victims of labor trafficking can be found in sweatshops (where abusive labor standards are present), commercial agricultural situations (fields, processing plants, canneries), domestic situations (maids, nannies), construction sites (particularly if public access is denied), and in forms of restaurant and custodial work.
Visible Indications of Trafficking
Of the Trafficking Victim: