It is well known that human trafficking exists in the U.S., in our cities and neighborhoods, but what are the signs to spot a trafficking victim? How to know whether a situation is more than just suspicious in today’s society? What happens if it turns out it is trafficking? What are the next steps?

Law enforcement agencies are now training airport workers and airplane crew members to look for these signs:

  • people whose documents are not in their possession
  • unaccompanied minors knowledge of where they are going or who they are traveling with
  • minors not answering questions
  • minors avoiding eye contact
  • bruising or other wounds
  • ravenous appetite

Hotel workers are also being trained to watch for these signs:

  • frequently booking a series of hotel rooms on a credit card then paying in cash
  • booking rooms around large sporting events in the host city, such as the Super Bowl

One thing to remember is that 83% of those forced into prostitution in the U.S. are domestic, meaning that the people being trafficked are from our own communities. Homeless, foster, and runaway children are especially vulnerable.

If you think you spotted a trafficking situation and wish to report it or give the person a vehicle to cry out for help, here are hotline numbers to call:

  • National Hotline (Polaris Project): 1-888-373-7888 or text “INFO” or “HELP” to BeFree (233733)
  • Georgia Hotline (Out of Darkness): 404-941-6024