What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is a serious crime that can affect anyone, of any age, gender or nationality. It involves the possession of people by improper means, such as force, threat or deception for the purpose of exploiting them. It is the illegal movement of a person into or through a country.
Examples of types of human trafficking
Adults and children can be trafficked and forced to sell their bodies for sex. People are also trafficked for labour exploitation, e.g. to work on a farm or factory; to work in a house as a servant, maid or nanny or; to beg on the street.
Where children have been trafficked and exploited this is an offence, even if no force or threats have been used and the child has given consent.
Signs to look out for
Victims of trafficking can be found in a variety of situations. Below are just some of the indicators that someone may have been trafficked. You can find out more signs at.
People who have been trafficked may believe that they must work against their will. They might receive little or no payment and be unable to leave their work environment. Trafficked victims may be subjected to violence or threats of violence against themselves or others and they may not be in possession of their passport or other documents.
Children who have been trafficked may have no access to their parents or guardians and they may look frightened and behave in a way that is not normal behaviour l of children their age. They may have no access to education and might travel in groups with persons who are not relatives.
People who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation may move from one brothel to the next, or work in various locations, and might live or travel in a group, sometimes with others who do not speak the same language. Evidence that someone has had unprotected and/or violent sex, or that they cannot refuse unprotected and/or violent sex, may also be an indicator that they have been trafficked for sexual exploitation.
People who have been trafficked for labour exploitation may live in groups in the same place where they work and leave those premises infrequently, if at all. They might not be dressed adequately for the work they do, have no labour contract, work excessively long hours, or lack basic training and professional licences. They might also be subjected to insults, abuse, threats or violence.
What can you do if you suspect someone has been trafficked?
If you suspect that someone has been trafficked, call the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on 999, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on
- 0800 555 111.
Education resource pack on human trafficking
An education resource pack on human trafficking has been produced for teachers of year 10 and Key Stage 4: Education resource pack link
Information on help available for potential victims of human trafficking
There may be some people in Northern Ireland who are not aware that they are victims of human trafficking. Learn more about the signs, your rights and what help is available. You are entitled to have your human rights respected.