Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery are amongst the most terrifying issues we face in the world today. Perhaps the most terrifying thing about these systems of manipulation and abuse is that they can happen all around us without us even knowing about it. That is why this post covers some of the most common signs that could signal Trafficking so that you can be prepared and alert if the situation ever arises.
Common signs of sex trafficking
One of the most common and deplorable sub-sections of Trafficking is Sex Trafficking, a form of Modern Slavery specifically focused on sexual exploitation. Around 99% of Sex Trafficking victims are women and girls. A common theme is that the victims may not speak English well, or at all, as the language barrier acts as an easier route for exploitation.
Amongst the most common signs are obvious signs of physical or emotional abuse. Another frequent sign is an over-bearing chaperone who will most likely be an older male who is keeping a very close watch on the victim’s actions.
These signs are not always totally reliable, as the demographics can vary and you should never rule out a victim based on their gender representation, age, or nationality. Ensure that you have properly researched Sex Trafficking from a trusted source such as Operation Underground Railroad.
Modern slavery and labor exploitation
This form of Human Trafficking involves people being forced to work against their will, for little to no pay. Often, if they are being paid, their profits are often stripped from them by the abusers.
Some of the most common places to find Labor Exploitation is in the agricultural, construction, and manufacturing industries. The demographics for Modern Slavery are extremely varied and are all but impossible to pin down. Realistically, anybody could be exploited for work.
The signs to look out for would be for any worker who shows signs of physical or mental abuse, as well as a tendency to be withdrawn or confused. If you are an employer and you have had trouble obtaining your worker’s legal documents, or if they claim not to know personal details, you should be wary of a Trafficking operation.
If you suspect one of your employees or co-workers is working against their will, then you should read about the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 to ensure your facts are straight. This read can also help you determine any further signs that could add to your certainty.
See signs of trafficking? What to do next
If you encounter any signs of Trafficking, be extremely cautious about approaching the victim directly. You never know how this interaction could backfire on them in their abusive situation.
Instead, consider calling the Modern Slavery Helpline as soon as possible with all of your facts and suspicions laid out in front of you. They will give you detailed advice on the next steps to take and will likely take the case out of your hands entirely.
A few last words
It is important to remember that you should always work to keep the victim safe. If you suspect or even know that the victim is in an abusive situation, proceed with absolute caution.
Remember that the experts and the police are by far the best-equipped people to deal with this. So, in raising your concerns to them, you have done everything you should do.