Identifying Human Trafficking When Using Public Transportation
Human trafficking exists everywhere. While certain countries such as Thailand are especially known for having a large human trafficking industry, this illegal practice is present all over the world. Victims could be restaurant workers, prostitutes, or factory workers. You may pass by victims at train stations, at airports, on trains, on airplanes, and on busses. While many may assume that traffickers often resort to transporting their victims privately to keep them in hiding, many traffickers also utilize public transportation as a means of moving victims from one location to another. When traveling, it is important to remain aware and alert of your surroundings. By doing so, you may be able to avoid potentially harmful situations and even help those who have fallen victim to human trafficking. Here are some common signs to help you identify if someone is being trafficked on planes, trains, or busses.
Chances are, if you see someone who seems out of place whether they seem to possess odd body language or seem particularly anxious, it is probably a good idea to take a second look and observe more closely. As CNN Travel discusses, one of the largest giveaways as per if someone is being trafficked or in some kind of danger is the lack of information they are able to give. Many times, victims have little to no knowledge on where they are going, why they are going, and what they will be doing. Additionally, victims may also be unable to or hesitate to even give their preferences or opinions-whether you ask them what their favorite color is, or whether the flight attendant asks them what meal they prefer.
Often times, those who are being trafficked do not have control over their actions or their identity. When traveling, some kind of ticket or boarding pass is required. Some kind of ID is also required. As Airport-Technology writes, “Similarly, if a person’s ID and money are held by a traveling partner, excessive or limited baggage or the presence of an overly controlling or abusive “boyfriend or “travel companion” can highlight a potentially dangerous situation.”, it is imperative to note if one is holding their own documents of identification. If that is not the case, it is likely that something not worth ignoring is going on.
One’s appearance can give a lot away. Usually, with a bit of common sense, it is easy to tell whether one is appropriately dressed. Look out for thin, limited, and a lack of clothing on someone. Look out for unusual tattoos or markings on someone’s skin. Look out for how tired, exhausted, and drained one seems. These indicators are all potential reasons for you to be concerned and notify authorities.
Altogether, your intuitions should not be ignored when it could potentially help someone else escape danger. It takes courage to make someone else’s safety your priority. While these are just some of the signs that may indicate human trafficking, there are several other signs when using public transportation to look out for. Simply doing a google search on the many potential signs, keeping your knowledge in mind, and taking action when your intuition suggests that something feels off, can save a life.