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Red Flags of Human Trafficking

“Human trafficking is happening here in Mississippi, it’s like an underworld epidemic that is creeping into all of our communities.” – Sandy Middleton

The term human trafficking is loosely thrown around, but what does it mean exactly? The reality is that this is a form of modern day slavery. This is a multi-billion dollar industry effecting 24.9 million people, it is much easier to get into and more renewable than trafficking drugs. Human lives are constantly sold for sex and labor that are manipulated by use of force, fraud, or coercion against their will. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, your gender, or nationality—it can happen to anyone, anywhere. It is not just happening in major cities, but in country towns with local families you may know personally.

You can help by reporting any suspected instance of human trafficking by looking out for these red flags:

Red Flags for Adults:

  • Being forced to provide commercial sex acts

  • Signs of physical abuse

  • Not in control of his/her money, ID, or personal documents

  • Not free to leave or come and go

  • Not allowed breaks and suffers unusual restrictions at work

  • Working excessively long/unusual hours

  • Unpaid for labor, paid very little, or paid only through tips

  • Branding or tattoos that reveal abuser’s or pimp name

  • Inappropriately dressed for weather, location, or age

  • Gang affiliation

Red Flags for Minors:

  • Chronic runaway

  • Multiple delinquency charges

  • Homelessness

  • Substance abuse

  • In a relationship with someone much older

  • A sudden ownership of new and expensive accessories 

  • Distant from family, friends, and loved ones

  • More than one cell phone

Call the Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888 or TEXT "HELP" or "INFO" to 233733 | Email:

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