IF YOU SUSPECT A TRAFFICKING SITUATION PLEASE CALL 911 AND/OR THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESOURCE CENTER AT 888-3737-888.
Once people are educated on the horrendous realtites of trafficking all around the world, the next logical question is 'What can I do?' Whether it's helping out in the office, working with a Traffick-Free COMMUNITY, raising money by running a 5K, or organizing a prayer event with your church - there is a place for everyone to join the fight against human trafficking. Just because you can't actually go out and catch the traffickers - we will leave that up to law enforcement - doesn't mean you can't do something tangibly.
The basic principle we try to teach people is simply to train their eyes to look for different things around them that might not add up. For example, an older couple in the Long Beach, CA area started noticing that there were some strange happenings in their neighborhood with different girls being around at different times. They contacted local law enforcement who ended up busting a trafficking ring of Filipino girls right in their own neighborhood.
The first thing you can do is learn the red flags (from the U.S. State Department):
- Living with employer
- Poor living conditions
- Multiple people in cramped space
- Inability to speak to individual alone
- Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed
- Employer is holding identity documents
- Signs of physical abuse
- Submissive or fearful
- Unpaid or paid very little
- Under 18 and in prostitution
Assuming you have the opportunity to speak with a potential victim privately and without jeopardizing the victim’s safety because the trafficker is watching, here are some sample questions to ask to follow up on the red flags you became alert to:
- Can you leave your job if you want to?
- Can you come and go as you please?
- Have you been hurt or threatened if you tried to leave?
- Has your family been threatened?
- Do you live with your employer?
- Where do you sleep and eat?
- Are you in debt to your employer?
- Do you have your passport/identification? Who has it?
Next, here are 4 areas of your life that you can begin 'changing your eyes' to identify if there is trafficking happening near you:
- In your household - Start off by making sure the household products you purchase are slave free! Did you know that many of the major chocolate companies do not commit to using slave free labor? Learn more >>
- In your community - Form or join a TraffickFree COMMUNITY to begin to tackle the problem in your neighborhoods. Learn more >>
- While you are travelling - 25% of all sex tourists are Americans. See something that doesn't look right? Report it. Learn more >>
- Around the world - In Belgium, our staff work to help Thai women who have been trafficked, and in India, our staff work with women and girls in the red light district. We need your support! Learn more >>
Check out the different opportunities to get involved on the left side and please e-mail us if you have an idea not mentioned here.