When you’re on the job hunt, always remember that your safety is the most important thing. Human trafficking is, unfortunately, a reality and traffickers often target young women looking for employment. Here are 5 red flags to look out for, which indicate a job opportunity may actually be dangerous.
Research brings up concerns
Before going to any job interview, it’s important to research the opportunity beforehand. The internet is a great resource, with social media pages and sites such as GlassDoor that can give you a background on the company. But remember that some of this info can also be deceiving, which is why doing additional research, such as asking around in your community or speaking to a professional recruiter, are also good steps to take.
A job interview located in an isolated location or abandoned building is a red flag. Many human trafficking fronts rent out space in offices or strip malls, however these usually seem “empty” and secluded. Try not to attend any interview alone, and be sure to tell a loved one where you’re going.
According to a UNODC Report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation- the victims of which are most often women and girls. If the “interviewer” implies that you’ll need to act out or perform inappropriate, illegal acts or any other strange requests, this is a red flag. For example, if you’re applying for a waitressing job and the employer brings up wearing sexually suggestive clothing, you’re well within your right to end the interview and leave. Remember that many traffickers make an opportunity sound “legitimate” at first, and slowly push the boundaries further to get you into a position that’s difficult to escape from.
Human traffickers are very manipulative and know how to control their victims. There are many ways to control someone’s movement and behaviour, ranging from drugs and intimidation, to confiscating the person’s identity documents. No legitimate employer will ever keep your identity documents (ID, passport or driver’s licence). Asking to keep such documents is a violation of your rights, and a major red flag. The same thing is true for anyone trying to restrict your movement such as locking doors, cornering you or using intimidation to make you feel trapped.
“Job opportunities” which are actually human trafficking fronts are often made to sound great. They could promise you a good salary, benefits such as the chance to travel and describe the work as “easy” and “enjoyable”. Take any promises with a grain of salt, and be suspicious of offers that sound too good to be true.
We know that looking for employment is no easy thing as a young professional, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. But never forget that your safety is the most valuable thing. No amount of money is worth more than your health. Even when the job search is challenging, it’s always better to go for the safe, legitimate opportunity instead of a potentially dangerous one. Read this article to learn all about human trafficking- how to spot it, and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Stay safe!