6 Signs That May Indicate Someone Has Been Trafficked

Human trafficking is a devastatingly common occurrence, with around 40.3 million active victims of trafficking at this present moment. With such horrifying figures only on the rise, it is time for us to sit up and take action. Whilst it can be tricky to recognize a victim of trafficking right away, there may be subtle indicators that can help you detect that someone is being abused at the hands of others. Read our advice below and discover what to look for. 

  • Lack Of Independence

Whether someone has been trafficked for labor purposes, modern slavery, or is a victim of sex trafficking, all are suffering some form of exploitation. Traffickers and captors know how desperate and unhappy their charges are so will often keep them closely guarded. If you know someone who is rarely seen alone, always followed by a person who doesn’t seem to be their partner or family member then they could be suffering abuse at the very least, and could even be part of a trafficking ring.

  • Physical Abuse

If someone you know is repeatedly displaying injuries such as bruises, cuts, or marks then they may be a victim of trafficking. Whilst abuse is devastating in any situation, people who are trafficked may face it on a regular and ongoing basis. This sign is one of the more obvious indicators of human trafficking.

  • Difficulty With Language

If the person you know does not have English as a first language and has not improved in their language since you have known them may be involved in a trafficking situation. Of course, this sign would likely be in partnership with one or more of the others as a lack of English is not a clear indicator, but if the person you know has hardly any English skills at all it may direct you to the conclusion that they are being trafficked.

  • Inappropriate Behaviour

If someone you know is behaving oddly or inappropriately, they may be prey to predatory traffickers. For example, if they are conducting themselves in an overtly sexual way in public and don’t understand that they are being unprofessional they may have this behavior ingrained in them from being a victim. 

  • Overworking

If the person you know appears to work long hours with regular over time and has no social life that may be an indicator of trafficking, especially if it is in conjunction with signs of abuse or lack of independence. If they never appear to have any money but constantly work this could be a sign.

  • Dirty Or Distressed Appearance

A victim of trafficking may present themselves poorly as they may not have access to showers or hygiene products. If someone you know is always in filthy clothes and looks malnourished they may be suffering at the hands of traffickers.

While these things can often act as warning signs for victims of trafficking, they are not final and absolute. If you feel as though someone you know might living at the hands of traffickers it is important to report your thoughts to the relevant authorities. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Human trafficking is illegal and you could be saving someone’s life.

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