Story provided by: Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Filipinos
Hong Kong was not to be their final destination. For Delora and April, who were both in their early twenties, it was just the first leg of the journey.
Recruited in the Philippines, they came to Hong Kong on their own passports. They each had a standard 14-day tourist visa. After working as bar girls in Wan Chai for ten days, they were flown to Germany on false passports before crossing into France. From there, they were made to paddle across a river, and into Italy. It was only when the Italian authorities eventually arrested them, that their full journey could be traced.
Human trafficking indictors in this case
*All names & identifying information have been changed to protect the identity of the survivor.
Common work and living conditions:
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp/manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (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 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
This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of indicators in this particular case. Also, the red flags in this case may not be present in all trafficking cases and are not cumulative. Learn more about human trafficking here!
Are you or someone you know being trafficked?
Is human trafficking happening in your community? Recognizing potential red flags and knowing the indicators of human trafficking is a key step in identifying more victims and helping them find the assistance they need.
To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call us at (852) 6465 2224 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.