Nearly 21 million people worldwide are estimated to be trapped in human trafficking worldwide. California’s proximity to international borders and its economy, the state’s big cities are major hotspots for human trafficking. While some human trafficking victims are prisoners in a fixed location, others take public transportation and work a seemingly normal job, all while remaining under the control of the criminals that enslave them.
Metrolink staff and riders have the opportunity to can help people escape human trafficking by being aware of the warning signs and acting quickly when something seems wrong. While this should be our ongoing mission, we’re using January as, Human Trafficking Month, to encourage our riders to be vigilant we’d like to share some tips that will help you be vigilant:
- A victim of modern slavery may display anxious behavior like avoiding eye contact or show signs of physical injury.
- They might have little-to-no possessions
- They might have inconsistencies in their stories.
- If you are noticing warning signs of human trafficking while riding with Metrolink, please text or call Metrolink’s Security Operations Center at 866-640-5190.
- If you notice suspicious activity outside Metrolink’s transit system, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888.
Your safety and the safety of the victim are paramount, so do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicion. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking. To learn more, you can visit the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking’s website here.