Frequently Asked Questions

How would I recognize a trafficked person?
It is difficult for the average person to assess the presence of trafficking.  However, there are signs that one should be familiar with as follows:

  • Common Work and Living Conditions
    • Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
    • Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
    • Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
    • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
    • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
    • Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
    • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
    • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
    • High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
  • Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
    • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
    • Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
    • Avoids eye contact
  • Poor Physical Health
    • Lacks health care
    • Appears malnourished
    • Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • Lack of Control
    • Has few or no personal possessions
    • Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
    • Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
    • Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
  • Other
    • Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
    • Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
    • Loss of sense of time
    • Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story

If I think I have encountered a trafficked person, should I attempt to rescue them?
No, these situations can be very dangerous. Contact the National Human Trafficking hotline at (888) 373-7888 to report the tip or 911 if there is a current crisis and then have faith that the proper authorities will respond.

What else can I do to help with this issue?
Educate yourself. Learn how your choices as a consumer impact trafficked persons around the world. Learn how your perceptions of other social issues impact trafficked person. Labor rights, immigration rights, women’s rights, child abuse, environmental concerns, and other important issues are all intertwined when it comes to human trafficking.

What should I do if I want to become further involved?
Make sure you are working with or supporting a legitimate anti-trafficking organization. There are many organizations that do good ethical work and those are the ones that need to be supported. Start with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center for further information about those organizations in your area or contact Central Valley Against Human Trafficking.

Are there any other resources regarding human trafficking?
Yes. Please visit the links below:

http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview
http://www.castla.org/homepage
http://sagesf.org/
http://oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/human_trafficking