Signs of human trafficking; how to help those enslaved

(WKRN Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – January is human sex trafficking awareness month and 24-Hour News 8 talked to experts about what you can do to help.

Pay attention to your feelings especially if you ever get that feeling something is just off, a feeling so strong you say to yourself “I have to help.”

It’s estimated that there are 27 million human beings enslaved in the world today and 1.2 million children are trafficked each year around the world. That’s why if you see something, say something is so important. Body language expert Lisa Mitchell says pay attention to three things to help identify a problem in a social setting.

First look for behavior like avoiding eye contact. Normal chitchat or small talk is expected in a social setting and if a person is not looking at you or looking to an adult or care giver for permission before answering is a red flag. Second, looking down or covering the eyes. Touching a forehead is  a hallmark of shame. Then finally, pay attention to physical proximity. If you see someone being guarded or pulled and pushed along or constant hovering, that’s a red flag.

“Now that people are becoming more aware of the prevalence of human trafficking and child sex trafficking, it’s not just something that can be left to law enforcement or care providers. It has to be a level of vigilance with the general public because we are the ones who are interacting with these people every single day,” said Mitchell. “The more we can identify signs of red flags, the more we can work with law enforcement and agencies to help get these people rescued and rehabilitated.”

It’s also about a feeling, you know if something isn’t right and if you see those signs report it to a security guard police officer of call 911.

For more information on human trafficking and how to spot the signs, click here, here and here.