How to Identify and Report Human Trafficking

Consumers can be a great source of how to identify and report human trafficking – protect the victims.

(STL.News) Human traffic has increased in recent years for many reasons.  The primary reason is that profit margins have decreased, creating the need for business owners to reduce costs.  Hiring undocumented workers is a common hiring strategy for many small business owners, especially ethnic-owned businesses.  Hotels, warehouses, and restaurants are common abusers of hiring illegal immigrants.

Learn the signs of human trafficking!  Neighbors can be a great source as they see their living habits, carpooling, and houses with many residents but no outdoor activities.  Everybody can pay attention to protect the victims.

As a consumer, how can you identify human trafficking?

  1. Living with the employer
  2. Poor living conditions
  3. Multiple people living in a cramped space
  4. Inability to speak to individual alone
  5. Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed
  6. The employer holds identity documents
  7. Signs of physical abuse
  8. Submissive or fearful
  9. Unpaid or paid very little
  10. Under 18 and in prostitution

Questions to Ask, if possible, that help identify human trafficking:

  1. Can you leave your job if you want?
  2. Can you come and go as you wish?
  3. Have you been hurt or threatened if you try to leave?
  4. Has your family been threatened?
  5. Do you live with your employer?
  6. Where do you eat and sleep?
  7. Do you owe your employer money?
  8. Do you have your passport or identification documents?  If not, who has them?

The most common businesses that violate this unfair trade practice:

  • Massage Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Warehouses
  • Hotels
  • And more!

We encourage you to pay attention and identify the signs.  Report and allow the authorities to make the final decisions on whether violations relate to human trafficking.

If you can answer these questions, what do you do to report?

  1. Call 911
  2. Call Human Trafficking Hotline at +1 888-373-7888 or visit
  3. Visit the Department of Homeland Security
  4. Visit “What is human trafficking” at the US Department of Justice
  5. Visit “About human trafficking” at the US Department of State
  6. What is human trafficking? – ICE – Department of Homeland Security

We will continue to enhance this content as we study the signs and offer more range to help you decide the best course of action.