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Human Trafficking in Transportation

Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Any minor (under the age of 18) engaged in commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking according to Federal law, regardless of whether there is force, fraud, or coercion.

Victims can be anyone from any background, around the world or right next door: women and men, adults and children, citizens and non-citizens alike. Human trafficking victims are often overlooked because we do not recognize indicators of human trafficking. 

Red flags, or indicators, can help alert you to a possible incidence of human trafficking. Recognizing these indicators is the first step in identifying potential victims. When you see indicators of human trafficking, report your tip, as it could change someone’s life. 


Four common indicators of human trafficking:

  1. Not controlling their own ID or travel documents
  2. Having restricted movement
  3. Lacking knowledge or logical means of reaching a final destination
  4. Non-genuine relationship, particularly child/guardian


Additional Indicators of Human Trafficking:

  • Being threatened with harm
  • Not having an ability to freely contact friends or family
  • Adult engaged in commercial sex who has a manager or pimp
  • Minor involved in commercial sex
  • Being told not to speak or appearing coached on what to say
  • Appearing fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
  • Being harmed or deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care, or other life necessities
  • Being threatened with deportation or law enforcement action

Report Suspected Incidence of Human Trafficking

Assistance & Information
National Human Trafficking Hotline

Law Enforcement
DHS’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Local Law Enforcement - 911