Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking in Real Estate

In the USA…

8,000* per year are rescued from sex trafficking.
About 2,000* people are rescued from labor trafficking.
Children have about a 1% chance of escape &
only a 7-year life expectancy.

Human Trafficking in Real State. Hiding in plain sight – red flags – what to look for.

We might think human trafficking in real estate applies to big houses that could be used to service many clients, like the “brothels of old” in the movies. However, apartments are perfect for smaller numbers of victims. Warehouses are perfect for larger labor slavery, such as sewing shirts, or stitching jeans or running shoes. Victims have even been rescued from yachts, and very often trailer parks.

Slavery never ended when the west made it illegal. Today it is WORSE today than ever! We think of slavery in far-off lands: farming coffee in jungles, or fishing slaves in vast oceans – but sex trafficking, including child sex trafficking (with victims as young as 4 years old), is right here, in our town, in our suburb, maybe even in our street.

Hiding in plain sight – red flags – what to look for

A person who doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the group applying for the property. Different clothes from the rest of the family. A young person that stands out with particularly excessive make up, jewellery, expensive hair extensions & nails – or the opposite: soiled and crumpled clothing that doesn’t look like the rest of the group.

Stores that just don’t add up. Inconsistent, or overly rehearsed, stories between the group

Lack of eye contact/conversation from one of the group. Remember, trafficking people can be young, old, male, female, transgender, and any, and every, race & religion.

Sellers who seems overly controlling, or tenants who seem particularly nervous

Gaps in paperwork – years missing from rental history – unable to remember past residences

Paying in cash – while there’s nothing wrong with paying with cash, large amounts for bond, or unusually paying months, even years, in advance in cash, or paying with a large number of small bills, is unusual, and another red flag.

Lots of people coming and going. Lots of different cars.

School-aged children who are not in school

Interior locks on doors & windows. Even if you are inspecting an empty house, it raises serious questions about the previous occupants.

Unexplained costly gifts. Anything that would make a child “look good” for their predators, clothes, shoes, makeup, nails, hair – or, sadly, again the opposite, very disheveled appearance or lots of badly applied rough make up very overly done. Something that really stands out from the rest of the group.

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