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If someone shows a number of these characteristics, they might be being exploited.

No freedom of movement

If a person:

  • is unable to communicate freely
  • allows others to speak for them when they're spoken to
  • has limited family contact
  • shows signs that their movements are being controlled
  • is being forced to work to pay off a debt (even if they are ill) 
  • is over-dependent on others
  • doesn't have their passport, travel documents or ID as someone is holding them.

Poor working and living conditions

If a person:

  • is forced to work in poor conditions
  • works excessively long hours over long periods
  • has no days off
  • is working against their will
  • is paid little or nothing
  • has no access to their earnings
  • lives in poor accommodation
  • has no access to medical care.

Intimidation and coercion

If a person:

  • is always anxious or afraid
  • is subjected to violence or threats
  • has injuries that look like they've been bound
  • is disciplined through punishment
  • appears distrustful of the authorities
  • is afraid of revealing their immigration status
  • acts as if they were instructed by someone else.


Lack of knowledge

If a person:

  • has false ID or travel documents
  • can't speak the local language
  • doesn't know their home or work addresses
  • comes from a place known to be a source of human trafficking
  • lives or works in a type of location likely to be used for exploiting people.

 
See the full list of general indicators (PDF, 87kb), including for specific exploitation types.