Consumer Alerts

    ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month


    January 10, 2018

    LITTLE ROCK – The White House recently declared January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The International Labour Organization reports nearly 21 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, including labor and sex trafficking of both children and adults. Human trafficking occurs when force is used to control another person for labor or sexual purposes and is considered a form of modern-day slavery.

    “Human trafficking is not a crime that is only committed in other states or countries; it’s a crime that occurs in our hometowns across Arkansas,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “We can all help to recognize and report suspected trafficking, potentially saving the lives of victims and penalizing those who commit such a heinous crime.”

    The Polaris Project released the following red flags to spot a potential victim of human trafficking:

    • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense or nervous/paranoid
    • Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
    • Avoids eye contact
    • Appears malnourished
    • Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
    • Has few or no personal possessions
    • Is not in control of his/her own identification documents like an ID or passport
    • Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves, a third party may insist on being present and/or translating
    • Claims of just visiting and an inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
    • Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
    • Loss of sense of time
    • Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story

    The Human Trafficking Hotline reports that Arkansans submitted about 20 potential human trafficking cases in 2017 on both the hotline and BeFree Textline. Arkansans can submit tips to the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or via text to “BeFree” (233733).

    For more information about the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, call (800) 482-8982, email consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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