Spot the Signs : Labour Exploitation

Spot the signs and change an individual’s future

Human trafficking is the movement or recruitment of people, through deception or coercion, for the purpose of exploitation. By spotting the signs you can help change the course of an individual’s future.

Spot the signs

Labour exploitation illustration showing mining equipment, coffee sacks and tinned fishIndividuals seeking better employment prospects are being manipulated into exploitative labour practices under false claims.  Industries that commonly exploit for labour include agriculture, warehouse and distribution, manufacturing and food processing – sectors that require shift work and can hire through agencies that offer zero-hour contracts.

Someone may be being exploited for labour if they:

  • show signs of psychological or physical abuse. They appear frightened, withdrawn or confused
  • have restricted movement on leaving or entering the premises. They are always accompanied
  • are forced to stay in accommodation provided by the employer, which can be overcrowded
  • claim to not know personal details
  • do not have control or access to their passport or other legal documents
  • lack the necessary protective equipment or suitable clothing
  • they are grouped together with workers of a similar nationality/age/gender and appear to have a representative by whom they are ‘coached’

Remember: Spotting one of these signs may not mean that someone is being exploited or trafficked, but seeing one should be a reason to be suspicious. The more signs you see, the more likely that this person is being controlled, exploited and trafficked.

What to do if you spot the signs

If you suspect that someone is being coerced and exploited, or you are yourself a victim of human trafficking, call your nearest local authorities.


Be part of the fight against human trafficking. If you see something suspicious locally, add to the global picture by downloading the STOP APP today.

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