Human trafficking is often described as the use of force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his or her will. This illegal exploiting of another person happens every day across far reaches of the globe but it is happening right here in our state as well.
Traffickers utilize tactics such as fear, force and intimidation to lure victims into this world of hidden crime. Men, women and children who are a part of vulnerable populations are often the most susceptible to failing victim to this crime, but any of us can become a victim. Often key indicators can help to spot human trafficking victims or help to identify those who are involved in the crime of trafficking.
What does Human Trafficking Look Like?
The following may indicate the presence of a human trafficking victim:
- Accompanied by someone who prohibits the person from speaking or answering questions; refuses privacy. Appears malnourished or shows signs of physical abuse, unexplained injuries.
- Inconsistencies in personal history or seems coached / programmed.
- Excessively fearful, submissive, depressed, anxious, withdrawn, nervous, or paranoid behavior. Has few or no possessions; not in possession of their own documents. May have multiple hotel room keys and more than one cell phone. Wears expensive clothing or accessories that were “gifts”; inappropriate clothing for season and place. Mentions making a lot of money in a short period of time but can’t state how.
- Is homeless due to running away, being forced to leave home, or otherwise displaced.
Never attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. Immediately contact law enforcement authorities as it is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.
What is North Carolina Doing to help Combat Human Trafficking?
The North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission is the legislatively mandated leader of anti-human trafficking efforts in North Carolina, https://www.nccourts.gov/commissions/human-trafficking-commission. The work of the Commission helps to fund, education and develop best practices to help law enforcement from across North Carolina combat human trafficking.
Visit the provided links to learn more about human trafficking, how you can protect yourself and others and who we are proud to partner with to further our efforts to combat this issue.