Investigators offer tips on what the public can look for to spot modern-day human traffickers

Crime

LONOKE, Ark. – Authorities say human trafficking is happening right under people’s noses across the country and the public may not even notice it.

Could someone on your street be trafficking someone?

“You could have a house next to you that for all intent of purposes think they’re great neighbors — take the trash out every week, they get their mail, wave at them and say hi but you’ve never really looked at the house and noticed all the windows are drawn,” Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant James Hall said. “There are blinds over everything. They have security bars established.”

According to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), the three most common types of human trafficking are sex trafficking, forced labor and debt bondage.

Yearly, traffickers exploit a million children in the commercial sex trade, according to data published by HRC.

The commission says a person who has been trafficked may:

  • Show signs that their movement is controlled
  • Have false identity or travel documents
  • Not know their home or work address
  • Have no access to their earnings
  • Be unable to negotiate working conditions
  • Work excessively long hours over long periods
  • Have limited or no social interaction
  • Have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment
  • Think that they are bonded by debt

If you have information on human trafficking, or think someone might be a victim, you are asked to call your local law enforcement agency.

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