January 8, 2024

It's Human Trafficking Prevention Month - Please, Be in the Know and Help Prevent this Scourge


Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Tragically, it is taking place every day right in our own backyards. January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. As trafficking can take place right in front of our own eyes, it is critical to be aware about this scourge, how to recognize possible warning signs and how to prevent it.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. In recognition of this important day, and throughout the month of January, the Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign encourages others to take photos of themselves wearing blue clothing and share them on social media with the hashtag #WearBlueDay. Be sure to also tag #EIETWEETS!


By the Numbers:

  • Human trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal enterprise in the world

  • The average age of victims is 14-16 years old

  • In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received more than 19,000 reports of possible child sex trafficking.

  • 1 in 6 of the more than 25,000 cases of children reported missing to NCMEC in 2022 who had run away were likely victims of child sex trafficking. 

  • Since 2000, traffickers have recruited 55% of sex trafficking victims online, usually through social media platforms, web-based messaging apps, online chat rooms, dating apps, classified advertisements, or job boards (Federal Human Trafficking Report, 2020)

Fact or Myth? 

  • Victims of sex trafficking are always kidnapped or physically forced.
  • Only women and girls are victims of sex trafficking.
  • Sex trafficking victims are always physically identifiable.
  • Sex trafficking is primarily an urban issue.

(Answers: All are myths! To learn about these myths and others, click here.)

Warning Signs:

  • Change in behavior or mood
  • Change in dress or style
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Increase in secrecy
  • Materialistic / Focus on money
  • Sudden changes in peer group or affiliation
  • An older, dominating/controlling boyfriend/girlfriend

What You Can Do Right Now: 

  • Establish open and ongoing communication with your kids about sex trafficking, child exploitation and predation.
  • Teach your kids about online safety and how to detect predators on social media and online gaming platforms.
  • Monitor their online activity and social media/gaming platforms and smart phones. Watch for warning signs such as being secretive or hiding “new friends” online.
  • Implement the guidelines contained in Enough Is Enough®'s "Rules 'N Tools" to protect children on all internet-enabled devices.

Essential steps include:

  • Set Parental Controls and use filters and monitoring software on all devices that connect to the internet.
  • Turn on privacy settings on social media, gaming and smart phone accounts.
  • Know who your child is communicating with via texts, instant messages, social posts, and while using voice chat on gaming systems.

Learn More About Sex Trafficking:

Watch the webinar, "A Mother's Story: Her Daughter's Human Trafficking Nightmare" (43 minutes). Learn how Susan's eldest daughter was lured and recruited as a teenager, how her trafficking took place while still attending school and living at home, how the trauma impacted every member of her family, and what parents need to know.

View a preview of the webinar below.

Preview of Webinar

Please visit our Trafficking 101 section at Internet Safety 101® to learn more about Human Trafficking, including who is being targeted, tips for parents, and much more. Also, be sure to view (and share!) our Sex Trafficking 101 Quick Guide for Parents and Educators.

Click on image to Download now for free!

If you suspect Human Trafficking, call 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 

 1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711) Text "HELP" to 233733 (BEFREE)