White heartSigns And Symptoms Of Trafficking

  • Evidence of being controlled, either physically or psychologically
  • Few or no personal possessions
  • Tattoo with a man's name or barcode, indicating victim is considered owned property
  • Child being trafficked for sexual exploitation may be dressed in a sexualized manner or seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Untreated chronic illnesses
  • Large financial debt that the individual is unable to pay off
  • Fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid behaviour, especially after mention of law enforcement
  • Communication that seems scripted, or story revealing inconsistencies
  • Child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars, or cigarette burns
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Evasiveness during conversation; deference to someone who appears to be controlling victim
  • Inability to provide details of departure location, destination, or flight information at airport
  • Victim unable to move freely in public, or is being controlled, closely watched or followed
  • Reproductive health problems, including sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, pelvic pain and injuries from sexual assault or forced abortions

Heart BadgeVenues Where Victims May Be Found

  • Massage parlours
  • Prostitution and escort services
  • Pornography, stripping or exotic dancing venues
  • Internet or newspaper ads for sexual services
  • Forced marriage arrangements
  • Agricultural or ranch work
  • Hotels or nail salons
  • Restaurants, bars or cantinas
  • Domestic labour (cleaning, childcare, eldercare) in private homes
  • Factories and sweatshops
  • Door-to-door sales, begging or street peddling

White heartPsychological Impact

Victims of traffficking may:

  • Develop general feelings of helplessness, shame, guilt, self-blame, and humiliation
  • Suffer from shock and denial, or display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks, anxiety, and depression
  • Suffer from sleep or eating disorders
  • Become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol as a way to cope with to escape their situation
  • Become emotionally numb, detached, and disassociated from the physical and psychological trauma and display “flat affect”
  • Experience “trauma bonding” with the trafficker, positively identifying with the perpetrator and believing that, despite repeated abuse, the trafficker is a loving boyfriend, spouse, or parent

White heartRoot Causes of Trafficking

Child trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which victims are subjected to force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex, debt bondage, or involuntary labor. Some impoverished families are tricked by traffickers posing as helpers and promising a better life for their children. Unfortunately, a lack of legal status or documentation can make a child an easy target.

  • Poverty
  • Family Breakdown
  • Government Corruption
  • Social Instability
  • Military Conflict
  • Natural Disasters
  • Weak Social Infrastructure
  • Racial and Gender Biases
  • Ethnic Discrimination
  • High Profitability for Traffickers
  • Fear of Forced Marriage

Where to Report Tips or Get Help


Find help for your region of the world at Global Modern Slavery Directory.

Get Help

In the USA

Call the US National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline - 1.888.373.7888

OR Text "BeFree” to 233733

Call Now

Heart BadgePrevention Methods

  • Strengthening families to prevent their breakdown because lack of family support increases a child's vulnerability
  • Transitioning children from residential care into healthy families to prevent loss of identity and foster sense of belonging
  • Educating communities about the realities ahead for children given up for work or for a "better future”
  • Ensuring children have proper ID and legal documentation
Call To Action

Child trafficking can be prevented.

And that’s why we’re here.

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