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SIGNS OF MODERN SLAVERY

If anyone has any concerns as to the immediate safety of an individual the police should be contacted.

To request help or report suspected human trafficking,

call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Or text HELP to: BeFree (233733)

An Action

A Means

Exploitation

the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of a person

the threat or use of force or other form of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, a position of vulnerability, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to control a person for the purpose of exploitation

which can include slavery, forced labor or services, servitude, forced criminality, or sexual exploitation

This guide can be used as a reference to assist anyone who comes into contact with individuals who may have been trafficked and/or are being exploited by people who wish to control their movements and actions to exploit them for labor or sex. This guide explains those terms and provides advice on how to spot the signs.

LABOR TRAFFICKING

Labor traffickers – including recruiters, contractors, employers, and others – use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, or other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will in many different industries.

Labor traffickers often make false promises of a high-paying job or exciting education or travel opportunities to lure people into horrendous working conditions. Victims find that the reality of their jobs proves to be far different than promised and must frequently work long hours for little to no pay. Their employers exert physical or psychological control including physical abuse, debt bondage, and confiscation of passports or money. Victims believe they have no other choice but to continue working for that employer.

All individuals can become victims of labor trafficking and vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers. Immigration status, recruitment debt, isolation, poverty, and a lack of strong labor protections are just some of the vulnerabilities that can lead to labor trafficking.

Common industries of labor trafficking include: domestic servants, agriculture, manufacturing, door-to-door sales crews, restaurants, construction work, carnivals, and even health and beauty services.

SEX TRAFFICKING

Sex trafficking is a crime when women, men and/or children are forced, coerced, or psychologically manipulated into commercial sex acts. In the United States, any minor under the age of 18 engaged in commercial sex acts is automatically considered a victim of sex trafficking under the law.

The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary dramatically. Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or may remain in the same trafficking situation for years.

All individuals can become victims of sex trafficking and vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination.

WHAT IS DEBT BONDAGE?

 

Victims of forced labor may also be victims of debt bondage, where they are tricked into working for little or no money to repay a debt.

 

An employer or a person controlling them (such as an agent) will use different tactics to trap the victim in an endless cycle of debt which can never be repaid and may even be passed on to their families. Poverty, threats, violence, surveillance, and imprisonment are used to make sure they cannot leave or get help.

 

Debt bondage can also be a significant factor in human trafficking. Victims may be offered a job abroad, to include either “free” transportation or borrowing money from the employer/controller for the travel and a job finding fee. Once they have arrived they then find the job either does not exist or is not what was originally offered, and are trapped trying to pay off the debt.

RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF MODERN SLAVERY

 

Restricted Freedom

Victims may:

 

  • not be in possession of their passports or other travel or identity documents, as those documents are being held by someone else

  • be unable to leave their work environment

  • show signs that their movements are being controlled

  • be unable to move freely

  • be threatened with being handed over to the authorities

  • be subject to security measures and controls to keep them on the work premises

  • depend on their employer for work, transport and accommodation without any choice

  • may only travel with other workers

  • have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment

  • be unable to communicate freely with others

  • have no access to medical care

  • be subjected to violence or threats of violence against themselves or against their family members and loved ones

  • have false identity documents

 

Appearance

 

Victims may:

 

  • shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture

  • have injuries that appear old, untreated or that they cannot explain

  • wear the same clothes each day

  • lacks health care

  • appears malnourished

Behavior

 

Victims may:

 

  • be unfamiliar with the local language

  • loss of sense of time

  • act as if they were instructed by someone else

  • allow others to speak for them when addressed directly

  • be distrustful of the authorities

  • be afraid of revealing their immigration status

  • have limited or no social interaction either in the workplace or at their accommodation

  • believe that they must work against their will

  • never leave the workplace without their employer

  • show fear or anxiety

  • feel that they cannot leave

  • have to resort to crime in order to get food or money for food

 
Working conditions

 

Victims may:

 

  • have no contract

  • be unable to negotiate working conditions

  • be unable to choose when or where they work

  • be forced to work under terrible conditions

  • work excessively long hours over long periods

  • not have any days off

  • not be dressed adequately for the work they do: for example, they may lack protective equipment or warm clothing

  • not interact with work colleagues

  • lack basic training or professional licences

  • believe they are obliged to work without pay in return for a favor or provision of accommodation

 

Accommodation

 

Victims may:

 

  • not know their home or work address

  • not have been able to give their address to friends or relatives

  • live in poor or substandard accommodation

  • have no choice where they live or who they live with

  • live in groups in the same place where they work and leave those places infrequently, if at all

  • live in degrading, unsuitable places, such as agricultural or industrial buildings


Finances

 

Victims may:

 

  • receive little or no payment

  • have no access to their earnings

  • be disciplined through punishment or fines

  • be under the perception that they are bonded by debt

  • have had the fees for their transport to the country of destination paid for by facilitators, whom they must payback by working or providing services in the destination

  • be told that they can pay debts for transport or accommodation when they are found work

  • be charged for services they don’t want or need

  • be forced to open bank accounts

  • be forced to sign documents to receive social security benefits, credit agreements or loans

  • have bank cards/documents held by someone else

  • have wages paid into an account used by other people

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