Department of Health raises human trafficking awareness

Posted 1/3/23

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Do you know the signs to watch for?

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Department of Health raises human trafficking awareness


NAPLES — January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Florida Department of Health is committed to raising awareness and promoting action against this crime.

Florida law defines human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery. It is a human rights violation that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial sex through force, fraud, or coercion. Florida remains the 3rd highest trafficking destination in the country, with half of all victims younger than 18 years old.

Anyone can become a victim of human trafficking including men, women, and children. Traffickers prey on those who are vulnerable, living in an unsafe or unstable situation, or those in search of a better life. In many cases, victims are deceived by false promises and forced, lured, or blackmailed into undesirable situations with little or no pay.

DOH is urging residents and visitors to learn the signs of human trafficking. Remember, “if you see something, say something.”

There are common indicators that can help identify a human trafficking victim including:

• Avoids eye contact,
• Shows signs of being denied food, water, sleep, or medical care,
• Not allowed to speak for themselves or a third party insists on being present,
• Has inconsistencies in his/her story,
• A child that has stopped attending school,

• Bruises in various stages of healing,
• Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, nervous, or paranoid,
• Few or no personal possessions.

To report a case of human trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or text “info” or “help” to BeFree (233733). To report minor (under the age of 18) victims only, contact the Florida Abuse Hotline at 800-96-ABUSE (22873).

It is important to remain vigilant to keep your community safe from human trafficking. If you have information about a potential trafficking situation or believe you are the victim of a trafficking situation, report it.

human trafficking