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These indicators could help you identify victims of human trafficking

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Posted at 8:24 AM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 08:27:26-05

(WXYZ) — January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, and all day Tuesday, we're telling you about what you need to be on the lookout for when it comes to human trafficking, apps you need to keep an eye on, and much more.

On top of that, we have the key indicators of human trafficking that can help you identify victims and save a life. These are from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

Not all indicators listed below are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live?
  • Are there unreasonable security measures?
  • Does the person appear to have all their belongings in a plastic bag, easy to grab if forced to quickly move locations?
  • Is the juvenile using a false ID or lying about his or her age?
  • Does the person appear to not be familiar with his or her surroundings, e.g., not know their location?

HSI urges the public to not attempted to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions.

If you notice suspicious activity, please contact HSI through its tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.