Identifying Child Victims of Human Trafficking

As educators, parents, and adults working with children, it is important to look for signs of child slavery with the kids we work with on a daily basis.  Do you know what to look for?   Here is a list of things to look for:

  • Children who are  hungry often, malnourished (not reaching full height, underweight, etc.), or have poorly formed or rotted teeth.
  • Not attending school or attends sporadically or has a significant gap of schooling.
  • Signs of physical abuse (bruising, scars, constant broken bones), and cannot explain injuries.  Also, abuse so extensive that it causes headaches, hearing loss, heart and breathing problems, chronic vision problems, back problems, and limb amputation.
  • Signs of sexual abuse through untreated sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, kidney problems, urinary tract infections.
  • Signs of psychological abuse: fearfulness, submissive, helplessness, humiliation, shame, disorientation and confusion. 
  • Signs of anxiety disorders: post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and depression.

Keep in mind ANY significant changes in a child with the above items as an indicator can be a red flag.

If you suspect anyone is a victim of human trafficking and they know you well and has gained a trust in you, ask the child some of these questions:

  • Can you come and go as you please?
  • Has anyone ever touched you or hurt you?
  • Where do you sleep or eat?
  • Do you have to ask permission to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom?
  • What are your living conditions like?
  • Is there  lock on your door where you cannot get out?
  • Have you or your family been threatened?
  • Are you allowed to do after school activities or go to religious services?
  • Do you work at a job after school?  How much do you work?  Are you allowed to quit? 

Keep in mind that a child (under the age of 18) who is a constant runaway, works on a migrant farm, helps a parent as a domestic servant, or is mistaken as a prostitute may be a victim of human trafficking.  If you suspect any child who is a victim, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. 

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Welcome to TrueFreedomKidz

Welcome to my blog.  This blog consists of information, stories, and tips to help in the fight of human trafficking.  It is estimated that close to 30 million men, women and children are slaves in the human trafficking pandemic.  Human trafficking takes the form of labor trafficking and sex trafficking.  As many as half of these numbers are children as modern day slaves.  It is true that slavery is abolished in almost every nation around the world.  However, there are more slaves today than at any other time in our world history, including our American history with the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The only countries in the world that do not have any documented cases of human trafficking are Greenland and Iceland.  Human trafficking is not just happening in countries half-way around the world; in fact, America is deep within the sex trade, with foreign AND domestic sex trafficking happening on our soil.  Our own children in the United States fall victim to sex trafficking, as early as age 13.  The statistics are staggering!  I will post some of these on my statistics page coming soon.

So, what can I do to help?  With these numbers, how can I even begin?  We will discuss this and many more things in the weeks and months to come: signs to look out for, how to get involved, agencies and non-profit organizations to help combat human trafficking, and even more about modern day slavery as a whole.  The more you know, the better equipped you are to fight this.  And we all must do our part.  It is time to stop turning a blind eye to the horrors of human trafficking, particularly when it comes to our children.  Will you help?  Please consider subscribing to this blog to educate yourself and your family, neighbors, and friends.  Also, follow us on Twitter at truefreedomkidz.  Thanks for joining the fight!