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Information for Educators


Why this is important

Human trafficking defined in its simplest form is the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery or forced labor. Human trafficking exists in our state, in our community, in the city, in suburbs, and in rural areas. Youth are often victims and traffickers can be and are family members of the victim. This means that victims of human trafficking are students in our schools.


Due to this growing epidemic, it is imperative that school counselors and educators receive training on what human trafficking is, what practices are prevalent, who is vulnerable, how and by what means students are recruited and forced into human trafficking, how to identify a victim, and what to do and who to contact if a victim is identified. (from the Idaho State Department of Education)


What to look for
  • Exhibits changes in behaviors or school participation, i.e. spike in truancy; or performs severely under grade level.

  • Student’s family shows signs of frequent migration, periodic homelessness,disorientation, uncertainty of surroundings.

  • History of homelessness or running away from home.

  • Reveals signs of abusive or inattentive caregivers, such as untreated illness or injury, bruises, or scars.

  • Displays heightened sense of duty or obligationto family, has unreasonable or inappropriate chores or duties.

  • Works for little or no pay, or the employer keeps identification documents and/or confiscates wages.

  • Accumulates debt to employer while at work or recruited for work with promises of easy money.

  • Exhibits sexual behavior that is high risk and/or inappropriate for his/her age.

  • Has an explicitly sexual online profile via internet community or social networking sites.

  • Involved in relationship with an older man, receives frequent gifts, may be picked up from school by controller.

  • Engages in sexual activity in exchange for money or anything of value (can include clothing, food, shelter, other goods and resources). No force, fraud, or coercion necessary if the student is under 18.

  • Knowledge of the commercial sex industry. Uses lingo: “The Life,” “The Game,” “Daddy,” for boyfriend, “Track” or “Stroll,” refers to dates as “Johns” or “Tricks"

(from the Idaho State Department of Education)


What to do next


       (from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Healthy Students)

Education for professional educators

Engaging Education Stakeholders to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking - read about the semi-annual stakeholder engagement held by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign (the unified voice for the Department’s efforts to combat human trafficking) and the Department of Education. The event brought together federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, schools, and private industry partners to raise awareness of human trafficking in middle schools, high schools, and colleges, and to identify opportunities for collaboration in our shared anti-human trafficking efforts. Links to resources are available on the webpage.




Introduction to Human Trafficking: A Guide for Texas Education Professionals - this manual, issued in July 2014, is designed to help education professionals recognize and report instances of suspected human trafficking


Human Trafficking in America's Schools - an 18-page guide released by the U.S Department of Education in January 2015. For more information about the guide and to navigate through the guide on-line, go to This guide was developed to help school officials

  • understand how human trafficking impacts schools

  • recognize the indicators of possible child trafficking

  • develop policies, protocols, and partnerships to address and prevent the exploitation of children



US Fund for UNICEF:This topic, which contains mature content, aims to raise awareness about trafficking and encourage students to take their own steps in addressing trafficking.


Frederick Douglas Family Initiatives has partnered with Not My Life to offer two history-based trafficking-prevention curriculum modules for use by secondary students and teachers called History, Human Rights and the Power of One. Both modules conform to Common Core Curriculum Standards and have been approved by the NYC Department of Education for use in the New York City Public Schools.

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