Human Trafficking

Knowing the signs is the first step to prevention

The Definition

Human Trafficking By Definition

Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring, or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits for the purpose of exploitation. This exploitation includes, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

How Human Trafficking Works

Learn how a combination of these three acts lead to human trafficking. By learning the how, we can find a solution to ending this crisis


Receipt of Persons


Threat or Use of Force
Abuse of Power or Vulnerability
Giving Payments or Benefits


Exploitation Including:
Prostitution of Others
Sexual Exploitation
Forced Labour
Slavery or similar practices
Removal of Organs
Other types of exploitation

What does it look like?

Types of Human Trafficking

There are many different types of trafficking that occur globally. Each case of trafficking varies with different circumstances and can often overlap. The most popular types of human trafficking include:

Sex Trafficking

The exploitation of women, men and children involved in commercial sex acts. In the United States, any minor under the age of 18 engaged in commercial sex acts is automatically considered a victim of sex trafficking.

Forced Labor

All work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily. This can include domestic servitude, child labor, and forced sex.

Bonded Labor

Also known as debt bondage this type of trafficking occurs when people give themselves into slavery as a means to pay a debt, whether acquired or inherited. Often made to look like an employment agreement, the exploitation occurs when the employer begins adding on additional expenses making payback impossible and trapping the victim in a cycle of debt.

Forced Marriage

Occurs when an individual has no option to refuse or are promised and married to another by their parents, guardians, relatives or other people and groups. Forced marriage also occurs when a wife is forcibly transferred to another in exchange for some type of payment or when a widow is given no choice and inherited by one of her husband’s male relatives.

Learn More

Polaris Report

For the last 15 years, people in the modern anti-trafficking field have struggled to identify and disrupt human trafficking networks in the United States. The Polaris Project team has identified 25 types of human trafficking. Cases of modern slavery affect industries that we interact with everyday including bars, food service, health care, construction, hotels, and many more. Each one has its own business model, trafficker profiles, recruitment strategies, victim profiles and methods of control that facilitate human trafficking. 

Education = An Informed Observer

It's Your Responsibility

Trafficking can occur all around you without you even knowing. Victims can be any age, race, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, immigration statues, and socioeconomic class. We miss the identifying signs because we do not know what to look for or how to recognize situations of human trafficking. Traffickers take advantage of this and target people when they are most vulnerable. Remember that no single sign listed below is proof of trafficking, but they are red flags to alert you to a potential human trafficking situation. 

Trafficking Vulnerabilities

  • Unstable or inconsistent living situations 
  • A history of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or neglect
  • Family background in commercial sex
  • An addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Family members who have substance abuse problems
  • A history of running away or truancy
  • Low self-esteem or self-worth
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • Poverty or economic hardships
  • Displacement by social or natural disasters

Signs of Human Trafficking in the Workplace

  • Verbal or physical abuse while on the job, particularly from a supervisor 
  • Threats of deportation, arrest, or jail
  • Made to work in unsafe conditions or forced to meet daily quotas
  • Hours are excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Paychecks have unreasonably low amounts or have negative balances
  • Their work is different than the job that was advertised and what they originally accepted
  • Underage staff
  • Being transported to or from work, or living and working in the same place

Behavior and Physical Signs of Human Trafficking

  • Overly frightened to talk to outsiders and authorities
  • Act anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous around their work or someone they know
  • Avoid eye contact and defer to another person to speak on their behalf
  • Usually accompanied by someone dictating their actions
  • Show signs of physical, sexual, or substance abuse
  • Show signs of being denied food, water, sleep, and/or medical care
  • Are not in possession of their own passports, identification, or legal documents
  • Have little to no personal possessions 
  • Recently arrived in the country and do not speak the language or their vocabulary is limited to sex/labor related words
  • Are distrustful or suspicious to anyone who offers them assistance or attempts to converse with them
  • Show signs of affection, attachment or dependence towards people who abuse them

The Facts

Knowing the facts is the first step to making meaningful changes in the world. 


Estimated industry value


People live in slavery


Victims are women or girls

1 in 4

Victims are children

Victims of trafficking are not just women and girls. Males make up a large percentage of forced labor victims.

Leaving trafficking situations can be extremely complicated. Victims can be under severe debt, they may not have a safe place to live, are afraid for their safety, and some have been manipulated to believe they are not victims.

Victims of trafficking are not just women and girls. Males make up a large percentage of forced labor victims.


Action makes a difference

United States Hotline Numbers

If you believe you may have information about a trafficking situation in the United States

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking.

Call(Toll Free): 1-888-373-7888

Text: 233733

Anonymous Tips

PLEASE NOTE: If the situation is urgent or occurred within the last 24 hours we would encourage you to call, text or chat. 

All reports are confidential and you may remain anonymous. Interpreters are available via phone call only. 

Missing Children/Child Pornography
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678)

International Hotline Numbers


National Police Number: 000

Australian Federal Police Assistance: 131 444


Ministry of Justice: (55)2025 3587

The Special Secretariat of Human Rights National Hotline Service: 100


National Police Number: 911

Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-833-900-1010

National Police Number: 911 Human Trafficking National Coordination Center: (613) 993 7267


National Police Emergency Number: 0-66

Attorney General of the Republic: (52)5346 0000

National Commission for Human Rights: 04455 2702 0077

United Arab Emirates

National Police Emergency Number: 112 or 999

Dubai - Criminal Investigation: (971)04-201-3430

United Kingdom

National Police Emergency Number: 999

Modern Slavery Helpline: (+44) 08000 121 700

Additional Hotlines

It's a Penalty

You can report concerns to local authorities in your community

The School Project

We believe English education has the power to break the cycle of injustice and lack of opportunity in a family’s life and give a child a chance in the ever-growing, modern South Asia and world.

Therefore, we educate our children in a high-quality, English-medium school. One where English is the primary language used during instruction.

Our school provides:

  • Local teachers
  • International board and influence
  • Computer training
  • Extracurricular activities (sports, dance, music)
  • Counseling
  • Life skills training (cooking, agriculture)

In addition, we provide on-campus, safe-housing; known as a hostel. This includes:

  • House moms that truly care for our children
  • Nutritional, warm, tasty meals and snacks
  • All clothing and school needs provided for
  • Medical care
  • Study time and play time
  • Safety and security

We strongly believe in working together to make a difference. It takes many voices to speak into one person’s life. We welcome teams, especially with international persons, to love on our children, to teach them new things, to give our children exposure to the “outside” world, and to practice their English-speaking. 

We understand that the child will have a decision to make once they graduate. Will they return to the life they saw when they were a little child? Or, do they take everything they have been given, a changed destiny, and go change other destinies? Our dream is that through their years at our school and home, these children will take prominent jobs in society and change the world for the good. We are committed to their safety even as they transition into a dignified profession in the real world.

“When I grow up, I want to be a doctor so that I can help other people like the doctor did for my mom.” – Student, grade 6

Night Program

On any given night the babies of sex workers are exposed to an unimaginable amount of atrocities and dangers. Often these little ones are physically and verbally abused, drugged to keep quiet through the night, left to wander the streets alone, or left lying next to their mother as she takes in client after client. These children are some of the most vulnerable. 

In partnership with a trusted organization, we have started a night shelter for these precious babies under the age of five. This night care provides:

  • A safe place to sleep 
  • An open place to play 
  • A clean place to bathe 
  • A nutritious meal to eat

Having this night care shelter also provides the opportunity to connect with more women in the red-light areas. The more women we connect with allows us to hear more of their needs and desires and hopefully provide a solution to change their destiny. 

We are in no way in support of what these women do every night. However, we care for the child who is otherwise left alone in their most vulnerable state. We care for the child that is forgotten. We care for the child that did not choose this life. 

Our hope is that through this night care and through the relationships built, the mothers will want to send their children to our residential school. 

Beauty Program

Vocational Training-

We believe vocational training can ignite forgotten dreams and give the opportunity for a bright future with a dignified career. One injustice we work with is human trafficking and sexual slavery. Many women are stuck in this trade because of illegal debt, while many others are stuck because of their limited, to no, education. Vocational training empowers these women to fight for their future. They too have a right to education.

Our beauty program launched in response to many women’s interest in this skill. They spoke, we listened. They dreamed, we responded.

This training includes:

  • Intro to Beauty Course
    • Beauty (facials, nail care)
    • Haircutting
    • Makeup
    • Life skills
  • Advanced Training Course
    • Haircutting
    • Hair color
    • Texture services
    • Life skills
“I love school. This school is different. When I come here, I feel at peace. It feels like family.” ~2019 Student