printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Report a Trafficking Victim

Fact Sheet
March 26, 2009


If you think you have encountered a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 1-888-373-7888, open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. In cases of emergency, call 911.

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designated as the domestic agency responsible for helping victims of human trafficking become eligible to receive benefits and services so they may rebuild their lives safely in the U.S. As part of this effort, HHS has initiated the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking campaign to help identify and assist victims of human trafficking in the United States.

The primary goal of the Rescue & Restore campaign is to raise public awareness of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are camouflaged—by sophisticated and often innocent-seeming techniques—from people they may encounter on a daily or random basis. The Rescue and Restore campaign encourages the public to “Look Beneath the Surface” and identify human trafficking victims with whom they may come into contact.

Here are some clues that may identify a possible trafficking victim:

  • Accompanied by a controlling person or boss; not speaking on own behalf;
  • Lack of control over personal schedule, money, I.D., travel documents;
  • Transported to or from work; lives and works in the same place;
  • Debt owed to employer/crew leader; inability to leave job;
  • Bruises, depression, fear, overly submissive.

Asking the right questions will help to determine if the person is a victim of trafficking who needs help.

Key questions to ask:

  • What type of work do you do?
  • Are you getting paid? Anything taken out of your pay?
  • Can you leave your job if you want to?
  • Can you come and go as you please? Are you afraid to leave? Why?
  • Have you or your family been threatened?
  • What are your working and living conditions like? How are you treated?
  • Do you have to ask permission to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom?
  • Are there locks on your doors/windows so you cannot get out?
  • Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?

If you think you have come in contact with a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. For more information on human trafficking, visit

Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.