In 2014 human trafficking was a more than $40 million a year industry in the Denver Metro Area and globally, worth more than $150 billion in 2017. Human trafficking continues to be an expanding problem across Colorado due to the geography, convergence of major interstate highways, large immigrant population and an easy to access an international airport. Yes, human trafficking exists right here in Jefferson County, where a victim may attend your child’s school, live in your neighborhood, or perhaps frequents your place of worship.
Our community is known as a source, a destination, and a prime transit route for traffickers and victims alike. Although the majority of victims are minors under the age of 18, human trafficking can happen to anyone at any age, and 46% of the traffickers are known by their victims.
Human trafficking is the exploitation of a person through force, fraud or coercion and these victims are afraid to come forward. To shed some light on this frequently hidden topic, different types of human trafficking are identifiable and include forced labor, forced domestic servitude and sex trafficking. Recognizing possible red flags and knowing possible indicators of human trafficking is a critical step identifying more victims and helping them get assistance to move from victim to survivor.
Here are some potential signs of an individual who may need help:
These signs only represent a few of the possible indicators and may not be present in all human trafficking situations. The list is not cumulative, and is intended to provide information on key indicators that something may be wrong.
For more information on the topic, and general awareness tips please view the video produced by the Department of Homeland Security here: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/tools
If you suspect human trafficking is taking place, please call the Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-866-455-5075. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733, reports are confidential. In the event of an emergency please call 911.