7 Ways to Spot that Someone is Being Trafficked

On vacation season it’s not just holidaymakers who fly on planes. Airports are also hubs for human trafficking — where adults or children are transported into forced labor or sexual exploitation.

CNN wants to amplify the voices of the victims of modern-day slavery, highlight success stories and help unravel the tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life. 

You can help by being aware of the telltale signs that someone is being trafficked.

What you should do

 It’s important to remember that even if you spot a number of these signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone is being trafficked. But if you do suspect, call emergency services or alert the airport authorities. NEVER CONFRONT THEM! 

Warning signs:

 1 — A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel.

Victims may be less well dressed than their companions.

2 — They have a tattoo with a bar code, the word “Daddy” … or even a man’s name could be a red flag that the person is a victim. 

3 — They can’t provide details of their departure location, destination, or flight information.

4 — Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story

5 – They can’t move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed … to ensure that the victim does not escape, or reach out to authorities for help.

6 – They are afraid to discuss themselves around others, deferring any attempts at conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them.

7 – Child trafficking: A child being trafficked for sexual exploitation may be dressed in a sexualized manner, or seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars, or cigarette burns.


This list was compiled with help from the following organizations. You can click on the logos to visit their sites   


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