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Questions to Ask?

• Do you have your personal identification?
• Can you come and go as you please?
• Have you been hurt or threatened for trying to leave?
• Are you in debt to your employer?
• Can you leave your job if you want to?

General Indicators

People who have been trafficked may:

• Believe that they must work against their will
• Be unable to leave their work environment
• Show signs that their movements are being controlled
• Feel that they cannot leave
• Show fear or anxiety
• Be subjected to violence or threats of violence against themselves or against their family members and loved ones
• Suffer injuries that appear to be the result of an assault
• Suffer injuries or impairments typical of certain jobs or control measures
• Suffer injuries that appear to be the result of the application of control measures
• Be distrustful of the authorities
• Be threatened with being handed over to the authorities
• Be afraid of revealing their immigration status
• Not be in possession of their passports or other travel or identity documents, as those documents are being held by someone else
• Have false identity or travel documents
• Be found in or connected to a type of location likely to be used for exploiting people
• Act as if they were instructed by someone else
• Be unfamiliar with the local language
• Be disciplined through punishment
• Be unable to negotiate working conditions
• Receive little or no payment
• Have no access to their earnings
• Work excessively long hours over long periods
• Not have any days off
• Live in poor or substandard accommodations
• Have no access to medical care
• Have limited or no social interaction
• Have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment
• Be unable to communicate freely with others
• Be under the perception that they are bonded by debt
• Be in a situation of dependence
• Come from a place known to be a source of human trafficking
• 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
• Have acted on the basis of false promises
• Not know their home or work address
• Allow others to speak for them when addressed directly

Sex Trafficking Indicators

People who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation may:
• Be of any age, although the age may vary according to the location and the market
• Move from one brothel to the next or work in various locations
• Be escorted whenever they go to and return from work and other outside activities
• Have tattoos or other marks indicating “ownership” by their exploiters
• Work long hours or have few if any days off
• Sleep where they work
• Live or travel in a group, sometimes with other women who do not speak the same language
• Have very few items of clothing
• Have clothes that are mostly the kind typically worn for doing sex work
• Only know how to say sex-related words in the local language or in the language of the client group
• Have no cash of their own
• Be unable to show an identity document

Labor Trafficking Indicators

People who have been trafficked for labor exploitation may:

• Live in groups in the same place where they work and leave those premises infrequently, if at all
• Live in degraded, unsuitable places, such as in agricultural or industrial buildings
• Not be dressed adequately for the work they do: for example, they may lack protective equipment or warm clothing
• Be given only leftovers to eat
• Have no access to their earnings
• Have no labor contract
• Work excessively long hours
• Depend on their employer for a number of services, including work, transportation and accommodation
• Have no choice of accommodation
• Never leave the work premises without their employer
• Be unable to move freely
• Be subject to security measures designed to keep them on the work premises
• Be disciplined through fines
• Be subjected to insults, abuse, threats or violence

**United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
For additional indicators of human trafficking please visit: