School faculty and administrators should be on the lookout and report “red flags” of human trafficking and child exploitation; doing so can prevent trafficking and even save lives. Child predators often target children and young adults online and through social media applications, attempting to befriend potential victims before luring them into an exploitative relationship. Victims of human trafficking are difficult to identify, and many cases likely go unnoticed and unreported.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) notes in 2018, 84 cases of human trafficking were reported to the hotline involving the District of Columbia. Sex trafficking and labor trafficking accounted for 88 percent of the cases reported in the District.
In July 2019, authorities announced the arrest of five people involved in a sex trafficking ring in various parts of the District. Between April 25 and May 16, the perpetrators knowingly recruited and coerced children to perform commercial sex acts—any sex act where something of value is given to or received by any person. They have all been charged with “Sex Trafficking of Children.”
Various government and non-governmental organizations provide resources and trainings to help the public raise awareness and identify signs of human trafficking. The links to these resources can be found below: