Every year since 2010, The President has designated January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Since that time, the month has become a time to raise awareness about how we all can prevent this crime by learning how to identify and report human trafficking. One great way to raise awareness is by participating in the national public awareness DHS Blue Campaign. The campaign is designed to educate everyone on how to recognize and respond to possible human trafficking cases.
You can help play a role in ending human trafficking by learning key indicators of the crime, raising awareness of human trafficking within your community or industry, and reporting suspected trafficking incidents. You can also download or order the free Blue Campaign indicator card, which lists common signs of trafficking and how to report the crime.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of forced labor including domestic servitude, or commercial sex acts. It’s important to understand that by law, any person under the age of 18 involved in a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking.
Human Trafficking Facts
- The International Labor Organization 2022 report estimates there are an estimated 27.6 million victims of forced labor around the world, including more than 10,500 identified here in the United States in 2020.
- Victims can be U.S. Citizens or of any nationality, age, socioeconomic status, or gender.
- Traffickers often take advantage of instability caused by disasters, conflict, or even the COVID-19 pandemic to exploit others.
Learn to Spot Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help. They may be forced or coerced through threats or violence and may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Victims of human trafficking may exhibit any of the following:
- Evidence of being controlled either physically or psychologically.
- Inability to leave home or place of work.
- Inability to speak for oneself or share one’s own information.
- Information is provided by someone accompanying the individual,
- Loss of control of one’s own identification documents (ID or passport),
- Have few or no personal possessions.
- Loss of sense of time or space, not knowing where they are.
Feel free to visit the DHS Blue Campaign document library to download or print all our resources for free.
Report Trafficking or Get Help
To report suspected human trafficking to federal law enforcement, call 1-866-347-2423.
Trafficking victims can get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, by calling 1-888-373-7888 or sending the text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733 (BeFree).
For information on human trafficking visit:
- Blue Campaign | Homeland Security (dhs.gov)
- Human Trafficking | What is Human Trafficking? (justice.gov)
- National Human Trafficking Hotline | The Administration for Children and Families (hhs.gov)