What is Human Trafficking?

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery; or

Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.


No single indicator is proof that human trafficking is occurring. The indicators below are a few examples that may alert you to a potential human trafficking situation:


The potential victim(s):

  • Shows signs of fear, anxiety, tension, submission, and/or nervousness.
  • Shows signs of physical abuse, restraint, and/or confinement.
  • Exhibits evidence of verbal threats, emotional abuse, and/or being treated in a demeaning way.
  • Shows signs of malnourishment, poor hygiene, fatigue, sleep deprivation, untreated illness, injuries, and/or unusual behavior.
  • Appears to be with a significantly older “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” or romantic partner.


The potential victim(s):

  • Lacks freedom of movement or is constantly monitored by someone.
  • Avoids eye contact and interaction with others.
  • Has no control over or possession of money or ID.
  • Defers to someone else to talk for them or appear to be coached on what to say.

How to Report

Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to your suspicions. Your safety as well as the victim’s safety is extremely important. Instead, please follow one of the reporting options below:

  • Follow your company’s protocol for reporting suspicious activity or crime taking place at your location.
  • Call Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423 to report suspicious activity, including human trafficking.
  • You can also submit an anonymous tip online via the HSI Tip Form at: ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.
  • Call National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to report suspected human trafficking. It is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization.
  • Call 911 or local authorities if someone is in immediate danger.