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How to Report Human Trafficking

We frequently talk about how to spot various forms of trafficking–including labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and child trafficking. In recent weeks we’ve shared information about what to look for, but not much about what to do next.

If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911 and keep yourself safe.

Do not put yourself in harm’s way trying to follow the potential victim or get too close. If you are able to snap a quick picture, it’s helpful, but the more information you are able to give to emergency services, such as descriptions of clothing, behavior, the kind of car they are driving, and license plate number, the better the chance of rescue. You are more likely to experience a scenario like this at the mall, gas station, or in high travel areas like rest stops.

If you suspect you have seen human trafficking, but are not certain of someone’s immediate danger, please report it to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH).

Call 1 (888) 373-7888, text “BeFree” 233733 or Live Chat.

Do not call the FBI. Do not call social services. Text, call, or chat with the NHTH. They will then contact the appropriate people to step in.

If you are a mandated reporter working with under-age children, do follow protocol of reporting to CYS/CPS. You can and should also report to the NHTH. Whether a mandated reporter or not, try, as above, to give as much information as possible when reporting: descriptions, locations, key identifiers like tattoos, scars, or stand-out physical traits. Lancaster law enforcement recently arrested a man for abducting a girl, mainly because of community calls giving a consistent description of the kidnapper, his car, and the missing girl in his passenger seat.

Though sex-trafficking is often the most discussed, please do not forget that there are actually 25 types of trafficking. You can see the full list of 25 types of trafficking and what to look for in our blog series Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

As always, the first step to ending human trafficking of ALL kinds is education. Schedule a Greenlight Operation training or speaking engagement for your school, church, youth group, community group, or place of employment! These engagements are catered to be audience appropriate. We also offer virtual trainings. For more information click here.

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