Story provided by: Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Filipinos
This was not what Roselyn came for. Roselyn thought she was going to work as a waitress in Hong Kong when she was first approached by a friend of hers. About 4 months ago back in the Philippines, her friend said she knew of a good job opportunity: waiting on tables at a five star hotel in Hong Kong.
Roselyn’s father was suffering from illness and she needed the money to pay the bills, therefore she agreed to take the job offer. But once she arrived in Hong Kong, the circumstances were very different. Roselyn was told that she would have to work in a bar and she must have sex with some of the customers. Her friend in the Philippines, someone she had known for a while, had been told by the recruiter to hide the true nature of the job from her – her friend had been taught to traffic.
It was a similar story for Marlene. She was told by a recruiter in the Philippines that she would work as a dancer when she got to Hong Kong. Marlene had recently left college to support her family. After she first had sex with a client, she said she was sick for two weeks.
*All names & identifying information have been changed to protect the identity of the survivor.
Human trafficking indictors in this case
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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