This is a time of year when many young people are on the hunt for jobs. Whether it’s just a new job or recent college graduates looking for that first job, it is a vulnerable position. We hear it all the time that not all jobs are real and some are just scams to get our information, or worse. The problem here in the States is when we hear the words “job promising” and “trafficking” together we think of Third World countries and not our own. However, job promising leading to human trafficking is something that happens here in the U.S. as well and that is why we want to talk about this form of recruitment.
We’ve talked about vulnerability on this blog before, click here to read the whole post, and that’s because vulnerability is a main contributor to trafficking. The needs that make those hunting for a job vulnerable are primarily psychological and security based. Everyone needs finances to provide for basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and potentially to save for future needs. The necessity for these things makes people vulnerable. Traffickers can utilize those needs and vulnerabilities to make people believe they have a good job or coerce them into a dangerous position. As long as people need jobs they can be a target for a trafficker.
Being aware that the job search makes people vulnerable is the first step in identifying and avoiding dangerous situations. Make sure that while searching for a job you are careful about what information you provide and where you meet for interviews and work. If a situation feels questionable err on the side of safety.
Like all forms of recruitment and trafficking there are warning signs that you can look out for in case of suspicion. While on the job hunt here are some warning signs and situations that the position could be unsafe. If you’re asked to meet in a strange or isolated place they may be looking to get you alone. Nannying or other jobs in peoples homes can be a risk for the same reason. Never send your passport, social security card, or license to a potential employer in case they try to withhold it from you. Modeling, photography, massage and hair braiding parlors are also high risk job offers. Remember the old saying that if it seems too good to be true it probably is.
It’s always better to be educated and aware while searching for a job. Here are some signs that someone might have been promised a job and now is being trafficked: change in physical appearance ( tattoos, piercings, and dramatic change in style clothing/look), sudden shift in attitude, they do not control their money and say their boss has it, any involvement in the commercial sex trade, and disconnected from family and caregivers. These are just a handful of warning signs that someone might have been promised a job and is being trafficked.
Summer is a wonderful time of year full of fun and promise. This can be the same with a new job. However, when searching for a new job you should always be aware of traps and the tactics traffickers use. If someone is promising a job that seems too good to be true, do your research and proceed with caution. And if you believe someone might have been recruited through job promising call your state or the National Hotline, (888) 373-7888.