Human Trafficking of Children
A Fact Sheet for Parents & Schools
Human Trafficking of Children – A Fact Sheet for Parents & Schools
One of the best ways to help combat human
trafficking is to raise awareness and learn more about how to identify
victims of human trafficking.
What Is Human Trafficking?
Please note, some material on this site is repetitive, but that is okay. Different
people land on different pages and may fly away! We want to make sure that they gather useful information about
human trafficking from the site no matter what page they enter or exit. - Marion Williams, Human Trafficking Movie
Contrary to a common assumption, human trafficking is not
just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states, Washington D.C.,
and some U.S. territories.
What Is the Extent of Human Trafficking
in the United States?
Victims of human trafficking can be children or
adults, U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female. According to U.S. government estimates, thousands of
men, women, and children are trafficked to the United States for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation.
An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country primarily for sexual
servitude and, to a lesser extent, forced labor.
Trafficking can involve school-age
children—particularly those not living with their
parents—who are vulnerable to coerced labor exploitation, domestic servitude, or commercial sexual
exploitation (i.e., prostitution). Sex traffickers target children because of their vulnerability and
gullibility, as well as the market demand for young victims.
recruit minors into prostitution violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no coercion or movement
across state lines. The children at risk are not just high school students—studies demonstrate that pimps prey on
victims as young as 12. Traffickers have been reported
targeting their minor victims through telephone chat-lines, clubs, on the street, through friends, and at malls, as
well as using girls to recruit other girls at schools and after-school programs.?
How Do I Identify a Victim of Human
- A victim of human
- Has unexplained absences from school for a period of
time, and is therefore a truant
- Demonstrates an inability to attend school on a regular
- Chronically runs away from home
- Makes references to frequent travel to other
- Exhibits bruises or other physical trauma, withdrawn
behavior, depression, or fear
- Lacks control over her or his schedule or identification
- Is hungry-malnourished or inappropriately dressed (based
on weather conditions or surroundings)
- Shows signs of drug addiction
- Additional signs that may indicate
sex-related trafficking include:
- Demonstrates a sudden change in attire, behavior, or
material possessions (e.g., has expensive items)
- Makes references to sexual situations that are beyond
- Has a “boyfriend” who is noticeably older (10+
Makes references to terminology of the
commercial sex industry that are beyond age specific norms; engages in promiscuous behavior and may be
labeled “fast” by peers
Click here for a
detailed page relating specifically to Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking
How Do I Report a Suspected
Incidence of Human Trafficking?
- In cases of immediate emergencies, it is best to call
your local police department or emergency access number.
- You can report
suspected trafficking crimes or get help by calling the national 24/7 toll-free Human Trafficking Resource
Center at 1-888-373-7888 anytime, day or
night 365 days per year.
This center will help you determine if you have encountered a victim of human
trafficking; identify local resources available in your community to help victims; and coordinate with local
social service providers to help protect and serve victims so they can begin the process of rehabilitation and
restoring their lives.
When appropriate, the Resource Center makes referrals to local organizations that assist victims with
counseling, case management, legal advice, and other appropriate services, as well as to law enforcement
agencies that help trapped victims reach safety.
The U.S. government supports a victim-centered approach. It
funds a national public awareness campaign and a number of nongovernmental organizations that assist victims. The
U.S. government seriously pursues human trafficking cases and prosecutes the traffickers. For a complete assessment
of U.S. government efforts to combat trafficking in persons, please visit the U.S. Department of Justice Web site:
Resources and Publications
One of the best ways to help combat human
trafficking is to raise awareness and learn more about how to identify victims. Information on human trafficking can be
found on the following Web sites:
- NOTE: This fact sheet contains resources, including Web sites,
created by a variety of outside organizations. The resources are provided for the user’s convenience, and
inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any views, products or
services offered or expressed in them. All Web sites were accessed on June 26, 2007.
U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free
Schools 550 12th Street, SW, 10th Floor Washington , DC 20202 (202) 245-7896
It is important to note that this list is not comprehensive of all signs of human
trafficking, nor are all students who exhibit these signs most certainly trafficking
victims. The list is meant to be a guide to help determine if further action is
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