Spot the Signs : Nail Salons

Spot the signs and change someone’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 someone’s future.

Spot the Signs

Sexual exploitation illustration showing neon sign and cashExploitation in the beauty industry commonly occurs in budget salons, where demand for low-cost treatments is high. Victims, who are often young women and girls, can feel indebted to employers, trapped in a helpless situation where violence and psychological abuse occur daily. Popular methods of control include restricting personal freedoms by taking passports, not paying wages and forcing individuals to work long hours.

Someone may be being exploited for labour if they:

  • appear tired, withdrawn, or do not appear to take any breaks
  • look younger than you would expect
  • seem on edge or afraid, particularly around the manager
  • do not appear to speak English
  • live above the nail salon
  • become distressed when handling money directly
  • do not engage with other team members
  • appear unkempt and disheveled; personal hygiene may be an issue.

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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