Signs of Human Trafficking

Signs that someone may be a victim of human trafficking:

  • May be in the company of older males who are not related, may refer to them as their boyfriend or daddy (street slang for pimp);
  • Other person speaking for them in public situations;
  • Driven to and from work locations, and escorted (male or female) at all times;
  • Do not have control of their own money or cellphone. May have numerous cell phones or numbers associated to their activities.
  • Identification documents may be controlled by others.
  • May not know or be familiar with the city, address or neighborhood they work or live in.
  • Moved frequently or may claim to be just visiting or new to area;
  • Unable to freely contact their family or friends;
  • Work excessively long hours;
  • Providing scripted or rehearsed answers to casual questions.

Physical Appearance:

  • May appear to be malnourished;
  • May possess new expensive  brand name clothing, shoes, purses;
  • May go to have regular expensive esthetics treatments, nails, pedicures, hair;
  • May be dressed in age or weather inappropriate clothing;
  • May be branded  with tattoos of the trafficker’s name, or other symbol on their back or neck or other body location;
  • Signs of physical abuse; bruises, broken bones, sexual abuse or other medical issues not treated; 

These signs of human trafficking are adapted from information provided by The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking and Polaris Project.


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