It is important to understand what human trafficking is in order to be able to identify the victims and perpetrators alike.

Will you recognise it when you see it? Victims are often blinded, tricked and forced through various methods. Here are a few:


Indicators

The person:

  • did not plan or organize his/her travel himself/herself and/or is not aware of his/her itinerary to the destination country
  • has become indebted to a third person who paid for his/her travel to the country of destination
  • does not own any identity or travel documents – or those are being held by a third person
  • carries forged identity documents
  • is originally from an area known as a source of victims of trafficking
  • has travelled with other persons whom s/he did not know prior to the travel
  • remained in transit countries for a long period of time

The person:

  • has been offered work in the destination country
  • has been promised an attractive salary and/or working conditions
  • works very long hours
  • does not have any days off
  • receives no or little payment
  • suffers disproportionate salary deductions in order to pay for rent, clothing, food, etc.
  • is deprived of any access to health care
  • has not signed any employment contract, or has not received his/her own copy of that contract

The person:

  • has bruises on his/her body
  • appears to be malnourished
  • shows signs of anxiety
  • appears to be severely exhausted
  • appears to be emotionally detached

The person:

  • is not at all/or not very familiar with the language or customs of the destination country/transit country
  • lives in insanitary conditions that do not preserve his/her dignity
  • did not choose his/her accommodation and is not allowed to move anywhere else
  • is not aware of his/her address
  • is not allowed to have guests in his/her home/living environment
  • has a restricted access to sanitary facilities
  • does not have a social life, or only a very limited one
  • suffers violence or threats
  • is a witness to his/her family suffering violence or threats

The person:

  • shows deep mistrust towards authorities
  • allows a third person to speak in his/her place
  • is under permanent control and cannot move without being accompanied

The person:

  • believes that they must work against their will
  • is unable to leave their work environment
  • shows signs that their movements are being controlled
  • feels that they cannot leave
  • shows fear or anxiety
  • is being subjected to violence or threats of violence against themselves or against their family members and loved ones
  • suffers injuries that appear to be the result of an assault
  • suffers injuries or impairments typical of certain jobs or control measures
  • is distrustful of the authorities
  • is threatened with being handed over to the authorities
  • is afraid of revealing their immigration status
  • is not in the possession of their passports or other travel or identity documents, as those documents are being held by someone else
  • has false identity or travel documents
  • is found in or connected to a type of location likely to be used for exploiting people
  • is unfamiliar with the local language
  • does not know their home or work address
  • allows others to speak for them when addressed directly
  • acts as if they were instructed by someone else
  • is forced to work under certain conditions
  • is disciplined through punishment
  • is unable to negotiate working conditions
  • receives little or no payment
  • works excessively long hours over long periods
  • does not have any days off
  • lives in poor or substandard accommodations
  • has no access to medical care
  • has limited or no social interaction
  • has limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment
  • is unable to communicate freely with others
  • is under the perception that they are bounded by debt
  • is in a situation of dependence
  • comes from a place to be known to be a source of human trafficking
  • has had fees for their transport to the country of destination paid for by facilitators, whom they must pay back by working or providing services in the destination
  • has acted on the basis of false promises