Human trafficking, or “modern-day slavery,” involves the use of power and control to force, defraud or coerce victims – often among society’s most vulnerable – into engaging in labor or services, including commercial sex. Traffickers use tactics including violence, deception or psychological threats to gain power and control over their victims, profiting from the exploitation of other human beings.

Although trafficking can occur in any work environment, common industries/settings where sex and labor trafficking victims can be found include:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Construction
  • Landscaping
  • Health/elder care
  • Private homes/domestic work
  • Hair/nail salons
  • Sweatshops/factories
  • Summer camps/seasonal workers
  • Agricultural/farm work
  • Brothels
  • Massage parlors
  • Escort services
  • Street prostitution

Recognizing the Signs of Human Trafficking

Are you or someone you know being trafficked? Is trafficking happening in your community?

Below are some things to look for that might indicate that someone is being trafficked:

  • Not getting paid for their labor
  • Not free to leave their job, or to come and go as they please
  • Not in control of their identification documents
  • Few or no personal possessions or financial records
  • Owes a large debt and unable to pay it back
  • Was recruited through false promises about the nature of their work
  • Limited knowledge of the community they are in or their location
  • Forced to do something they don’t want to do
  • Shows signs of physical abuse, malnourishment, restraint, branding (tattoos, burns, etc.)
  • Is under 18 and engaged in commercial sex

If you think someone you know has been trafficked, they may be eligible for free assistance. Please call 914-683-1333 and ask to speak to someone in MSP’s Human Trafficking Program, or call MSP’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-298-SAFE (7233).