January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Human Trafficking can happen to anyone.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human trafficking occurs in Connecticut, in every state in the U.S. and around the world and can be very difficult to recognize. Trafficking victims may be found in plain sight, working in massage parlors, restaurants, nightclubs, on farms or construction sites. On the surface, they may appear to be children helping at the family business. This is a crime that requires vigilance from law enforcement and members of the public. Please contact law enforcement immediately if you recognize signs of possible human trafficking.
People who have unknowingly accepted a fraudulent job offer.
Adults or children with an unstable housing situation or who are facing poverty.
People with substance abuse issues or who have an unreliable caregiver or family member with substance abuse issues.
Victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Juveniles with a history of running away from home or frequent contact with the Juvenile Justice system.
Some examples of situations that warrant extra attention:
A friend or family member, particularly a young person, suddenly possesses expensive clothing, gifts or money inconsistent with their age or employment status.
A recruiter/employer will not supply a signed labor contract or insists on a contract written in an unfamiliar language.
A job offers compensation/benefits that are unusually generous for the job description.
A potential employee is required to pay fees to the employer prior to starting a job.
A job opportunity requires employees to move or attend training far away from home before the employer will provide specific details about the working situation.
As part of a job opportunity located out of the country, an employer offers to pay twice the average wage for the job description, provide housing, transportation, and any necessary immigration/visa documents.
Victims of Human Trafficking may be domestic workers, farm workers, sex workers, or those who have unknowingly accepted fraudulent job offers, such as live-in child care provider, fashion model, or seasonal work in another country.
A trafficked person does not have access to their own money. Any money earned is “held” or “being saved” by a partner or employer.
Passports or other identity documents are held by the trafficker. A human trafficking victim does not have access to their own documents.
Trafficked persons are isolated from the outside world and may live, eat and work in the same location (e.g., bedding, portable cooking appliances, personal toiletries visible in a factory, restaurant, massage parlor).
Trafficking victims may work in hazardous conditions without access to appropriate protective equipment.
Trafficked children may be assigned age-inappropriate or dangerous tasks and may be seen working late at night or during school hours.
Trafficked workers are escorted by traffickers from location to location and may be relocated frequently.
Trafficked workers may be closely monitored by a guardian, someone appearing to be a romantic partner, or supervisor who will not allow the worker to speak to anyone alone or insists on speaking for the worker.
Access to housing is controlled by the trafficker and may be contingent upon a trafficked person providing sex acts to the employer and their “friends”.
Failure to meet expectations may result in the trafficker depriving workers of sleep or food as punishment.
For more information, resources, or to report suspected human trafficking, please call the confidential National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Or visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org