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Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking
By Bukola Oriola
The fact that human Trafficking is the modern day slavery cannot be overemphasized. All countries across the world are affected by this epidemic issue. Over 2 million people are trafficked yearly a cross the world. According to the United Nations, over 162 countries across the world are affected as a source, transit or destination for human trafficking. In fact, all three elements, including source, transit or destination could be evident in a country, that is, a situation where citizens of a certain country are trafficked within the same country.
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Identifying victims of human trafficking can be very difficult. One of the main reasons victims do not speak out is as a result of fear.
The United States National Human trafficking resource Center, however has set some questions that could help to identify victims of human trafficking by health care, attorneys or social service providers.
The key 10 questions to ask according to the center are:
- What type of work do you do?
- Are you being paid?
- Can you leave your job if you want to?
- Can you come and go as you please?
- have you or your family been threatened?
- What are your working and living conditions like?
- Where do you sleep or eat?
- Do you have to ask permission to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom?
- Are there locks on your doors or windows so you cannot go out?
- Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?
The organization also provided six clues to look out for in case you might be in contact with a victim of human trafficking:
- Evidence of being controlled
- Eviden e of inability to move or leave job
- Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
- Fear or depression
- Not speaking on own behalf and/ or non-English speaking
- No passport or other forms of identification or documentation
A report by the American Bar Association, "Meeting the Legal Needs of Human Trafficking Victims: An Introduction for Domestic Violence Attorneys & Advocates" added four key questions to ak if the victim is an immigrant in the United States.
- How did you enter the United States?
- Were you able to keep your passport, visa or identification with you, or did someone take it from you?
- Were you working to pay off a smuggler or other debt?
- Were you free to find another job to pay the debt, or were you forced to work at a certain place?