Human Trafficking FAQs

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A: Mississippi Businesses Against Trafficking (MBAT) is a statewide initiative by the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office and Secretary Michael Watson to raise awareness of trafficking and empower Mississippi businesses to coMBAT trafficking.

As an MBAT member, we ask that you take advantage of the educational materials available to help you better understand the issues surrounding trafficking and how to recognize it in the workplace.

A: Yes. The Mississippi Human Trafficking Act (§ 97-3-54 through § 97-3-54.9) was passed in 2013 by the Mississippi Legislature. The Act defines prohibited conduct and outlines penalties for convicted persons.

A: Human trafficking victims can be of any age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, immigration status, cultural background, religion, socio-economic class, and education attainment level.

In the United States, individuals vulnerable to human trafficking include:

  • children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, including foster care;
  • runaway and homeless youth;
  • unaccompanied foreign national children without lawful immigration status;
  • individuals seeking asylum;
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives, particularly women and girls;
  • individuals with substance use issues;
  • racial or ethnic minorities;
  • migrant laborers, including undocumented workers and participants in visa programs for temporary workers;
  • foreign national domestic workers in diplomatic households;
  • persons with limited English proficiency;
  • persons with disabilities;
  • LGBT+ individuals;
  • and victims of intimate partner violence or other forms of domestic violence.
Source: U.S. Department of State

A: At the heart of this phenomenon is the traffickers' aim to profit from the exploitation of their victims and the myriad coercive and deceptive practices they use to do so. Traffickers can be strangers, acquaintances, or even family members, and they prey on the vulnerable and on those seeking opportunities to build for themselves a brighter future.

Source: U.S. Department of State
A: While not an exhaustive list, these are some key red flags that could alert you to a potential trafficking situation that should be reported:
  • Individuals living with an employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped space
  • Inability to speak to individuals alone
  • Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed
  • An employer holding identity documents
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Submissive or fearful
  • Unpaid or paid very little
  • Under 18 and in prostitution
Source: U.S. Department of State

A: YES! Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received 2,070 contacts from the state of Mississippi including phone calls, texts, online chats, emails, and webforms.

Source: Human Trafficking Hotline
A: If you believe you have seen a situation where someone is being trafficked, you can report it by:
  • Contacting your local law enforcement agency by dialing 911
  • Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888
  • Text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733
  • Chat the National Human Trafficking Hotline via

Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking.

Source: National Human Trafficking Hotline