Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, includes both forced labor and sex trafficking. It not only represents a threat to international peace and security but also undermines the rule of law, robs millions of their dignity and freedom, enriches transnational criminals and terrorists, and threatens public safety and national security everywhere.


There are estimated to be more than 27.6 million people — adults and children — subjected to human trafficking around the world, including in the United States. Traffickers often take advantage of the instability caused by natural disasters, conflict, or a pandemic to exploit others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, traffickers are continuing to perpetrate the crime, finding ways to innovate and capitalize on the chaos.


More than 20 years ago, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000  enshrined the United States’ commitment to combating human trafficking domestically and internationally. In 2010, by presidential proclamation, President Obama declared January “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month” and every year since each president has followed this tradition.

President Biden has proclaimed January 2023 as “National Human Trafficking Prevention Month,” reaffirming his Administration’s commitment to protect and empower survivors of all forms of human trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and bring an end to human trafficking in the United States and around the world. “Since human trafficking disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic minorities, women and girls, LGBTQI+ individuals, vulnerable migrants, and other historically marginalized and underserved communities, our mission to combat human trafficking must always be connected to our broader efforts to advance equity and justice across our society.”


Some signs of human trafficking can include:

  • Avoiding you, other friends, and family
  • Frequent tardiness or absence from school or work
  • Loss of interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Sleeping often when they’re home and staying out late or all weekend
  • Having new and older friends or a significant other they met online
  • Having or bragging about money, expensive items, or traveling with no reasonable explanation
  • Expressing fear of their employer or other adults in their life
  • Working an excessive amount
  • Having rehearsed responses
  • Starting to use drugs or alcohol
  • Become unstable housed or leave home to live with an older friend
  • Frequent injuries with no reasonable explanation
  • Having secret online accounts


If you see any of these signs, talk to a safe and trustworthy adult about your concerns. These may be signs of human trafficking or they could be struggling with mental health and difficulties at home or school.



If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave, whether it is prostitution or other sex acts; farm, retail, or restaurant work, housekeeping; or any other activity or labor, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to 233-733 to access help and services. Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and Florida law.

Call or Text

International Rescue Committee (IRC) (logo) (850) 544-3914

Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC) (logo) (850) 597-2080


Si usted o alguien que conoce está siendo obligado a participar en una actividad y no puede dejarla, ya sea prostitución, tareas domésticas, labores agrícolas, labores en una fábrica, labores en pequeños negocios, labores en un restaurante o cualquier otra actividad, comuníquese con el Centro Nacional de Recursos contra la Trata de Personas (National Human Trafficking Resource Center) llamando al 888-373-7888 o envíe un mensaje de texto con la palabra INFO o HELP (AYUDA) al 233-733 para acceder a asistencia y servicios. Las víctimas de la esclavitud y de la trata de personas están protegidas por las leyes de Florida y de los Estados Unidos.

Llame o Text

International Rescue Committee (IRC) (logo) (850) 544-3914

Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC) (logo) (850) 597-2080


Some additional resources:

MILADY Human Trafficking Awareness Course

Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center

Understanding Human Trafficking

20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking

The U.S. Government’s Response to Combating Human Trafficking 

Human Trafficking Hotlines

U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking Annual Report