If You or Someone you Know is a Victim of Human Trafficking please contact:

In Canada: The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 24/7 or use the chat function on their website.

Or in the United States contact: The National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or use the chat function on their website.

For Human Trafficking Awareness month, I will be posting a series of articles on human trafficking. In 2021 to commemorate this month of awareness, I posted a series of tips on identifying a person who may be trafficked, which I have listed below. I would like to start my series with some basic information on what human trafficking is.

What is Human Trafficking?

Definition – noun – The unlawful act of transporting or coercing people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labour or sexual exploitation.

In a nutshell, human trafficking is the exploitation of human beings for financial gain.

Humans + exploitation for financial gain = human beings who are physically, emotionally and psychologically traumatized

Signs of Human Trafficking

A person may be trafficked if they:

  • Cannot leave their job to find another one
  • Do not have control over their wages or money
  • Work but do not get paid normal wages
  • Have no choice about hours worked or other working conditions
  • Work long hours, lives at a work site, or is picked up and driven to and from work
  • Show signs of physical abuse or injury
  • Are accompanied everywhere by someone who speaks for him/her
  • Appear to be fearful of and or under the control of another person
  • May have health issues that have not been attended to
  • Owe money to their employer or another person who they feel honour bound to repay
  • May describe moving or changing jobs suddenly and often
  • Are unfamiliar with the neighbourhood where they live or work
  • Are not working in the job originally promised to them
  • Are travelling with minimal or inappropriate luggage/belongings
  • Lack identification, passport, or other travel documents
  • Are forced to provide sexual services in a strip club, massage parlour, brothel, or other locations
  • May appear to be malnourished

Signs YOU might be a victim of human trafficking:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you in a new relationship with someone older or richer, perhaps online? Does the relationship seem to involve manipulation and control?
  • Do you receive gifts or cash from your partner for no reason?
  • Has the relationship you are in taken a sudden negative turn?
  • Have intimate images of you been shared by someone online with/without your consent?
  • Do you feel intimidated or controlled? Does your partner often control your phone, where you go, who you see, or even withhold your personal identifidation?
  • Are you living and working in harsh conditions?

Here are some online training links and resources to educate yourself on human trafficking:


BC Government Human Trafficking Online Training Course

The Joy Smith Foundation – National Human Trafficking Education Centre

For more resources see:

Deborah’s Gate – Anti-Human Trafficking Programs  (Salvation Army)


US Government Office on Trafficking in Persons


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – Trafficking in Persons


  1. This clear concise information is helpful to understand the scope of such an alarming crime. Thank you for posting.

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