Is Human Trafficking Occurring in Your Community? How to Identify the Signs

The United Nations (UN), defines human trafficking as “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of the position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” This can occur in any community and victims can be of any age, race, gender, or nationality.

The San Francisco Human Rights Commission lists the following as examples of human trafficking: forced labor, sex trafficking, dept bondage, and child sex trafficking. The following are some signs of a person who may be trafficked:

  • Show signs that their movement is controlled.
  • Have false identity or travel documents.
  • Not know their home or work address.
  • Have no access to their earnings.
  • Be unable to negotiate working conditions.
  • Work excessively long hours over long periods.
  • Have limited or no social interaction.
  • Have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment.
  • Think they are bonded by debt.

To report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 24 /7 toll-free at 1-800-373-7888. You may also Text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733.  Chat with the National Human Trafficking Hotline via If someone is in immediate danger, please call 911.