Elizabeth Norton
A Champion of Hope for a Far Better World
Elizabeth Norton
A Champion of Hope for a Far Better World
Blog Post

Finding ZuLia: Awareness: 6 Ways To Spot Child Trafficking

December 1, 2020 woodbine, Zulia

Human trafficking is a dangerous and ongoing battle all around the world, and child trafficking is a form of that can be just as bad or worse to find or fight not to mention the lasting impact it has on the lives of so many children and others. There are so many organizations and individuals working hard to save children from this issue or prevent it from continuing to grow in the way it has. But, just having information on it out there to the public can be just as important to be able to have more people recognize and report signs of child trafficking. Here are 6 of the many ways to spot child trafficking to help you have some way to recognize and be aware of these signs. 

Educate Yourself

Firstly and most important is to educate yourself on child trafficking as well as its effect on your area in specific. Learn about the types of trafficking and their specific behavioral, appearance, and other signs as well as how the signs can differ or combine depending on the situation. This can help you to better be looking for the right signs as well as know what you may be recognizing and its meaning. This also helps you to better be able to report trafficking. 

Be Aware Of Out Of Place Looks

While not every child will have a visual indicator, some could be helpful to recognizeIf a child looks disheveled or out of place with their clothing such as ratty or not correct fitted clothing or even items that look too expensive for that child to have, something could be off. Sometimes there are also visible signs of abuse such as bruises or red marksKids subject to trafficking could also be given tattoos for gang-related or branding reasons. 

Note Surroundings

What is around an individual or child can also tell you a bit more about the situation going on if you know what to ask yourselfDo they seem out of place in their surroundings or uncomfortable? Should they be out and about at this time of day? Do they have the right clothing for the season or weather? Are they alone, or accompanied by others? If there’s an adult around, the adult may seem controlling or too close to the child, or out of place near them. 


Many victims of child trafficking learn or adapt to certain behavior patterns to stay safe or follow the rules they were told by traffickers. This could show in avoidance of eye contact or interaction with other children, rehearsed sounding answers to questions, reluctance to discuss family or no knowledge of family members when asked, and more.  It is rumored that professional traffickers hidden deep in corrupt systems will actually physically limit a child’s voice to make a noice or even stitch their lips together to mute their calls for help. Each child’s reaction and situation is completely different, but you can generally pick up on not right or off behaviors easily. 


Child traffickers look for individuals that are vulnerable to being trafficked or having an emotional attachment to their trafficker easily. This includes situations with homelessness, abuse, disabilities, substance use, immigrants, and much more. If a child is known to be or has some form of vulnerability before things like behavior changes, difference in appearance, and so on; there’s a chance they could have been or could be targeted by a child trafficker. 

Age Is A Factor

Any child of any age could be subject to trafficking, but there are age groups that are more specifically or easily targeted depending on your area and the type of trafficking. Young adults and teens are easier targets when they’re using substances or considering or have been runaways. Young children are easily gullible or lured often when uneducated on the risks. Specific areas of contact and types of trafficking are different, which is why the type of trafficking is important. 

Not every individual situation will have signs like these, but taking the time to educate yourself on this topic is very important to your life and to others in the world around you. Even if you think you will never or may never need to think about or use this information learning about important issues in the world is information that can then find its way to others through your knowledge and sharing. Child trafficking is much more of a struggle in our world than most people realize and it needs more recognition and education throughout the world so that we as a whole can fight against it and save lives.

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