Story provided by: Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Filipinos
Juliet* is a Filipina woman in her late twenties. She came back to Hong Kong three times. From her first time being in the city, she already understood what the deal was – she would have to sleep with multiple clients a night. Back in the Philippines however, Juliet was engaged to a man she has known since she was in her teens. The groom never knew what she did in the city. The reason for her multiple returns to Hong Kong was because she needed the money to pay for her upcoming wedding in the Philippines.
Each time, Juliet would stay in Hong Kong for as long as six months, renewing her 14-day tourist visa after trips to Macao. Upon her return to the Philippines after her first stay in Hong Kong, Juliet was told that she must return to the city again. The traffickers warned her they would tell her family what had happened if she did not come back to Hong Kong, they even said to that she must bring a friend with her.
Thus, Juliet then recruited Aida, who was in her early thirties, to join her to work in Hong Kong.
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
- Avoids eye contact
- Poor Physical Health
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.
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