How can you tell that a person is a victim of human trafficking?

human trafficking

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Maltese Government is currently working on a campaign entitled ‘Human, Like You’ aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking.

Among the initiatives outlined in a booklet launched by the Government, explaining a number of features of trafficking as well as explaining how to identify victims of human trafficking.

According to the booklet, human trafficking is defined as an international crime involving millions of men, women and children that are being controlled by other individuals for a number of different reasons including for sex, for labour or for slavery. Traffickers end up making a lot of money through this crime.

Trafficking victims hiding in plain sight

The document also explains that human trafficking is often taking place in plain sight, but not easily noticeable to the public. Nonetheless, it was explained that there are a number of signs that a particular person is being controlled by another person. One indicator could be the physical appearance of the person, the way they behave in public, and their attitude to those around them.

It adds that victims of human trafficking often go through long periods of psychological abuse and humiliation. They sometimes also undergo physical and sexual abuse. They are shy, confused and afraid of the consequences of their actions. They often don’t make eye contact with people around.

Read more:

‘Victims of trafficking need to be identified and treated as such faster’

National campaign against human trafficking launched

Victims appear tired

Victims generally appear tired, passive and not well kempt in appearance. They usually wear the same clothes and often in clothes not suitable for their work or for the weather conditions. They are also not given safety equipment.

The booklet explains how foreign victims, are often prohibited from speaking with others and their traffickers often serve as their interpreter, speaking on their behalf. The traffickers tell their victims not to speak with the authorities or they will be deported. They also face threats that if they breach the conditions imposed on them, they will be reported to the authorities.

Traffickers control the movement of their victims

Many human traffickers often control the physical movement of their victims, especially when their victims do not have the correct documents. They are always accompanied by the same person, especially when they are in public places or in public offices. Victims may also be identified being transported from one place to another either individually or as a group.

The victims are also often known to be living in uncomfortable living accommodations that are often shared with a lot of other people who are also being trafficked. It is also reported that many victims are living in the same place where you work. It was also argued that the traffickers usually change the place where victims are living in a regular manner in order stop the authorities being able to track them down.

More information can be found here