Often Unnoticed

Even by individuals interacting with victims on a regular basis.


According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, severe forms of trafficking is defined as:

Human Labor Trafficking

Is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person, for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Human Sex Trafficking

Is the recruitment of an individual through force, coercion, purchasing, or deception for financial gain through sexual exploitation.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) / Sex Trafficking

Involves crimes of a sexual nature committed against juvenile victims (under the age of 18) for financial or economic resources, either domestic or international.

While no single indicator is necessarily proof of human trafficking, recognizing the signs is the first step in identifying potential victims.


  • Minors recruited typically between the ages of 11-14
  • Trafficked any age
  • Runaways / Throwaways
  • LGBTQ+ Youth
  • Individuals with substance abuse issues
  • Immigrants or undocumented workers
  • Youth involved in the foster care system
  • Individuals with mental illness
Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking

Signs of a

  • Branding or tattoos with their trafficker's name or symbol
  • Older boyfriend
  • Unexplained and/or frequent injuries
  • Lack of eye contact (especially when interacting with men)
  • Frequent runaways
  • Substance abuse
  • Working long hours for little or no pay
  • Having several cell phones
  • Sudden appearance of expensive objects with no occupation or clear (legit) way of obtaining the items

Where Victims
are Commonly

  • Massage Parlors
  • Dating sites or other social media sites
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Homes
  • Strip Clubs
  • Walking or standing on city streets
  • Farms (labor trafficking)