Human trafficking: It can happen to anyone

Thursday, 04 January 2024 15:19

Human trafficking: It can happen to anyone Featured

Written by US Department of Veterans Affairs News Release
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Human trafficking: It can happen to anyone US Department of Veterans Affairs

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This month is dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking and to educating the public about how to identify and prevent this crime.

Human trafficking is a nationwide public health concern impacting Veterans, their families and caregivers. VA has a critical role in this global effort to eliminate human trafficking. Be invested, increase your awareness about human trafficking and don’t miss the signs or opportunities to help.

Human trafficking means to control someone forcing them to work against their will. Control can be through physical force, threats, debts or false promises. Work can be anything from manual labor to sex work to being a servant in a home.

Know the signs of trafficking

Human trafficking victims are often “hidden in plain sight.” Take time to learn how to identify and respond to people who are at risk or who have experienced trafficking.

Here are a few situations that might raise concerns:

  • A family member, friend or co-worker is recruited for an opportunity that requires them to move far away. Their recruiter or prospective employer avoids answering questions or is reluctant to provide detailed information about the job.
  • A would-be employer collects fees from a potential worker for the “opportunity” to work in a particular job.
  • A friend, family member, co-worker or child is showered with gifts or money or becomes involved in a fast-moving relationship. There may be a large difference in age or financial status in this situation.
  • A family member, friend, co-worker or child is developing a relationship that seems too close with someone they know solely on social media and may be asked for money.
  • A family member, friend or child who lives with a parent or guardian and shows signs of abuse.
  • A family member, friend or co-worker is offered a job opportunity that seems too good to be true.

Be aware. Be ready. Take action.

You may very likely encounter someone who is being trafficked. How can you help?

  • Be supportive and non-judgmental
  • Create a safe and welcoming environment
  • Help raise awareness by sharing these resources

If you or someone you know may be involved in human trafficking, contact the Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888, text BEFREE to 23373 or visit the human trafficking hotline to learn more.

Join VA in raising awareness about National Human Trafficking Prevention Month by wearing blue Jan. 11, 2024.

Learn more

To learn more about human trafficking, explore these links:

Last modified on Thursday, 04 January 2024 15:26
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