Human Trafficking

Report Human Trafficking!

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
Suspect human trafficking of a child? Call ChildLine: 1-800-932-0313

Senate Bill 1311 was signed by Governor Wolf on October 28, 2016 and is now known as Act 115 of 2016. Act 115 is immediately effective. The updates are but not limited to: 

  •  Allowing for the release of information in confidential reports to law enforcement when investigating cases of severe forms of trafficking in person or sex trafficking
  • Adding a category of child abuse to include: engaging a child in severe form of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined under section 103 of the Trafficking Victim Protection Act of 2000
  • Adding a category of perpetrator to include: an individual 18 years of age or older who engages a child in severe forms of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined under section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

Definition of Human Trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining a child for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Under federal law, sex trafficking (such as prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, etc.) does not require there be force, fraud, or coercion if the victim is under 18. 

Who is at risk?

  •  Youth in the foster care system
  • Youth who identify as LGBTQ
  • Youth who are homeless or runaway
  • Youth with disabilities
  • Youth with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders
  • Youth with a history of sexual abuse
  • Youth with a history of being involved in the child welfare system
  • Youth with family dysfunction

Identification/Warning Signs 

  •  A youth that has been verified to be under 18 and is in any way involved in the commercial sex industry, or has a record of prior arrest for prostitution or related charges
  • Has an explicitly sexual online profile
  • Excessive frequenting of internet chat rooms or classified sites
  • Depicts elements of sexual exploitation in drawing, poetry, or other modes of creative expression
  • Frequent or multiple sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancies
  • Lying about or not being aware of their true age
  • Having no knowledge of personal data, such as but not limited to: age, name, and/or date of birth
  • Having no identification
  • Wearing sexually provocative clothing
  • Wearing new clothes of any style, getting hair and/or nails done with no financial means
  • Secrecy about whereabouts
  • Having late nights or unusual hours
  • Having a tattoo that she/she is reluctant to explain
  • Being in a controlling or dominating relationship
  • Not having control of own finances
  • Exhibit hyper-vigilance or paranoid behaviors
  • Express interest in or in relationships with adults or much older men/women
  • Child has significant change in behavior (including increased social media and new associates or friends at school)
  • Child avoids answering questions and lets someone else speak for them
  • Child lies about his or her age or identity
  • Child uses specific terms such as "trick," "the life," or "the game"
  • Multiple children are present with an unrelated male or female adult
  • Child has multiple cell phones or has items that are very expensive that they have no way of purchasing on their own
  • Presence of an overly controlling or abusive "boyfriend" or older female
  • Child has unaddressed medical issues or who goes to the ER or clinic alone, or with an unrelated adult
  • Child is found in a hotel, street track, truck stop, or strip club 

The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Services offers multiple resources for victims of human trafficking. Visit their human trafficking web page and get connected to resources for legal, financial, and visa help.

Suspect Child Abuse? Report it!

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), which is in part comprised of the Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.