Human Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of commercial sex acts or labor services against his or her will.

Types of Human Trafficking

1. Sex Trafficking—a person is forced to perform sexual services against their will

  • Most common form of human trafficking
  • 79% of human trafficking cases involve sex trafficking

2. Labor Trafficking—forcing individuals to perform labor or services against their will for little or no pay

  • Second most common form of human trafficking
  • 18% of human trafficking cases involve labor trafficking

Red Flags for Victims of Sex Trafficking

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Branding or tattoos
  • Hotel keys, rolls of cash, multiple phones, or refillable gift cards
  • Sexually provocative clothing inappropriate for weather or situation
  • Claim of older boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Unable to make decision without approval

Red Flags for Victims of Labor Trafficking

  • Works excessively long or unusual hours
  • Living where they work or in large groups
  • Transported to and from work by their employer
  • Identification documents held by a third-party
  • Not allowed or able to speak for themselves
  • Fearful of authorities

Additional Red Flags for Victims of Human Trafficking

  • Chronic runaway, truant (absent from school), or homeless youth
  • Have items they cannot afford
  • Appear scared or nervous, may not make eye contact
  • Typically have someone with them at all times

Human Trafficking Recruitment Methods

Human trafficking can happen anywhere at anytime. It’s important to know the recruitment methods predators use to ensure safety for yourself and others. Common methods of recruitment for human trafficking include:

  • Promises of romance, love, acceptance
  • Meeting the need for food, clothing, shelter
  • Offers of independence, luxury items, cash
  • Flattery, lies, manipulation
  • Exploiting position of authority
  • Exploiting vulnerability or desperation

Fast Facts

  • In 2017, NC ranked 8th in terms of states with the most human trafficking cases
  • .04% of human trafficking survivors are identified, meaning that almost all cases go undetected
  • 71% if enslaved persons are women/girls
  • 29% of enslaved persons are men/boys
  • Reports show a growing trend in traffickers using social media platforms to recruit targets
  • Top forced labor industries:
  • Construction, manufacturing, mining, hospitality
  • Domestic workers (Nanny, maid, etc.)
  • Agriculture

Resources for Human Trafficking

If you suspect any human trafficking behavior make sure to immediately call 911. You can also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888, texting “BeFree” to 233733, or live chatting online at

National Human Trafficking Hotline

U.S. Department of State

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