Thursday, July 08, 2010
How To Identify A Victim of Human Trafficking Minimize

The Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline will help you determine if you have encountered victims of human trafficking, will identify local resources available to help victims, and will coordinate with local social service organizations to assist victims so they can begin the process of restoring their lives. (DOJ)






Victim Identification

  • A victim of trafficking may look like many of the people you help every day. You can help victims of trafficking get the assistance they need by looking beneath the surface for the following clues:
    • Evidence of being controlled
    • Evidence of an inability to move or leave job
    • Bruises or other signs of battering
    • Fear or depression
    • Non-English speaking
    • Recently brought to this country from Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada, Africa or India
    • Lack of passport, immigration or identification documentation
  • Traffickers use various techniques to keep victims enslaved. Some traffickers keep their victims under lock and key. However, the more frequent practice is to use less obvious techniques including:
    • Debt bondage – financial obligations, honor-bound to satisfy debt
    • Isolation from the public – limiting contact with outsiders and making sure that any contact is monitored or superficial in nature
    • Isolation from family members and members of their ethnic and religious community
    • Confiscation of passports, visas and/or identification documents
    • Use or threat of violence toward victims and/or families of victims
    • The threat of shaming victims by exposing circumstances to family
    • Telling victims they will be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities
    • Control of the victims' money, e.g., holding their money for “safe-keeping”

The result of such techniques is to instill fear in victims. The victims’ isolation is further exacerbated because many do not speak English and are from countries where law enforcement is corrupt and feared.


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