Be alert. Know the warning signs.

Don’t be afraid to speak up - You could save a life.

If you suspect you or someone around you might be in danger, or need someone to connect you to an organization/law enforcement in your own state call the National Human Trafficking Hotline:


If you think you have seen a missing child, contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 24-hour hotline:

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

For cases/situations involving minors in the state of Georgia – call the GA Cares Hotline:


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General Indicators

Trafficking victims are often lured into another country, state, or city by false promises and so may not easily trust others. They may:

  • Be fearful of telling others about their situation

  • Be fearful of police/authorities

  • Be fearful of the trafficker, believing their lives or family members’ lives are at risk if they escape

  • Be unaware they have been trafficked and believe they are simply in a bad job

  • Be unpaid or paid very little

  • Seem to be in debt to someone

  • Exhibit signs of physical and psychological trauma e.g. anxiety, lack of memory of recent events, bruising, untreated conditions

  • Have limited or no access to medical care

  • Have limited freedom of movement, because they are being watched

  • Be regularly moved by force from one city, state, or country to another, so as to avoid detection

  • Have no passport or mention that someone else is holding their passport

  • Be controlled by use of witchcraft e.g. Ju Ju

Sexual Exploitation

Be aware: ordinary residential housing and hotels are being used more and more for brothels to house multiple victims, or sometimes just one victim. People forced into sexual exploitation may:

  • Be forced, intimidated or coerced into providing sexual services

  • Be subjected to abduction, assault or rape

  • Be moved between brothels, sometimes from city to city

  • Sleeping on work premises

  • Display a limited amount of clothing, of which a large proportion is sexual

  • Display substance misuse

  • Have money for their services provided collected by another person

  • Be unable to travel freely e.g. picked up and dropped off at work location by another person

Child Abuse

A child who is being sexually abused is often forced to perform the “services” by an older person in a position of power or trust. The abuser may also coerce the child through some form of a favor, such as alcohol, drugs, attention or gifts. You may notice a child that is:

  • Often going missing

  • Showing evidence of physical/sexual assault (including STD’s)

  • Chronic runaway

  • Homlessness/street living

  • In relationships with significantly older people

  • Traveling with an older man

  • Secretive

  • Has unexplained money/presents

  • Experimenting with drugs/alcohol

  • Multiple delinquent charges

  • Seen entering or leaving vehicles with unknown adults

  • Special marked tattoos

  • Showing signs of low self image/self harm/eating disorder

  • Taking part in social activities with no plausible explanation 

Forced Labor

A forced labor victim works under force or the menace of a penalty, and is unable to leave. They may experience:

  • Threat or actual physical harm

  • Withholding of wages or excessive wage reductions

  • Pay that is less than minimum wage

  • Debt bondage i.e. working to pay off a debt or loan, often the victim is paid very little or nothing at all for their services because of deductions

  • Excessive work hours/few breaks

  • Restriction of movement or confinement

  • Requirement to pay for tools and food

  • Their employer is unable to produce documents required

  • Imposed place of accommodation (and deductions made for it)

  • Withholding of documents e.g. passport/security card

  • Threat of revealing to authorities an irregular immigration status

  • Dependence on employer for services

  • Poor or non-existent health and safety standards

  • No access to labour contract 

 Domestic Servitude

A particularly serious form of denial of freedom; this includes the obligation to provide certain services and to live on another person’s property without the possibility of changing those circumstances. They may:

  • Be living and working for a family in a private home

  • Not be eating with the rest of the family

  • Have no private space

  • Have no bedroom or proper sleeping place

  • Be malnourished

  • Be forced to work excessive hours; “on call” 24 hours a day

  • Never leave the house without the ‘employer’

  • Be reported as missing or accused of crime by their ‘employer’ if they try to escape