Victim support

Indicators of human trafficking

I. Indicators related to criminal activities against the victim

1.Personal freedom

1.1.The person’s freedom of movement is limited

1.2.The person is kept in isolation and under constant control.

1.3.The person is always accompanied when going outside.

1.4.The person’s contacts with other people and/or members of his/her family are limited.

1.5.The person cannot leave the work place.

1.6.The person has to be in permanent telephone contact with the trafficker.

1.7.The person’s telephone conversations are monitored and controlled.


2.1.The person receives little or no payment.

2.2.The person cannot use or does not have access to his/her earnings.

2.3.The person receives lower payment than the minimum for this sector in the receiving country.

2.4.The person pays debts to the trafficker. (1)

2.5.The person’s debt constantly increases.(2)

2.6.The person is forced to earn a minimum amount per day or week.

3.Work conditions

3.1.The working conditions of the person do not follow the established rules in the labour legislation (3)

3.2.The person cannot negotiate his/her working conditions.

3.3.The preliminary working arrangements are not kept.

3.4.The person is forced to do certain activities.

3.5.The person does not have access to medical help.

4.Living conditions

4.1.The person is forced to work and live in the same place.

4.2.The person lives in very bad conditions, with lots of people in a very small space.

4.3.The person pays very high amounts for very bad living conditions.

4.4.The person does not have access to information (radio, TV, newspapers)

4.5.The person does not have his/her personal belongings.

4.6.The person is being hidden.


5.1.The person is subjected to physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse

5.2.The person witnesses violence against other people with the purpose of maintaining fear “instruction”.

5.3.The person is threatened with violence against him/her or family members.

5.4.The person is deprived of food and water

5.5.The person has visible marks of violence

5.6.The person is “disciplined” through punishments

5.7.The person is drugged in order to develop an addiction and increase compliance


6.1.The person does not speak the local language

6.2.The person does not know his/her home or work address.

6.3.The person is dependent on the trafficker for his/her survival(4)

6.4.The person is dependent on the trafficker for drug use


7.1.The person is blackmailed by having his/her documents taken away

7.2.The person is blackmailed with his/her illegal status in the destination country

7.3.The person’s relatives are threatened or blackmailed

7.4.The person is blackmailed through threats of distribution of personal information about him/her and his/her family

7.5.The person is blackmailed with threats for informing the authorities about criminal activities in which the person participates

7.6.The person is blackmailed through threats of spreading the fact that he/she is a sex worker


8.1.The person is recruited by an intermediary agency for work abroad, a model agency, a tourism agency, dating agency, training or other agency

8.2.The person is recruited by a friend, partner, relative, family member or other acquaintance

8.3.The person is recruited through false marriage

8.4.The person has been abducted or kidnapped


9.1.The person was deceived with promises for large income

9.2.The person was deceived about the nature and/or conditions of work

9.3.The person was deceived with promises for marriage

9.4.The person was deceived with promises for a romantic relationship

10. Transfer and reselling

10.1.The person is transferred from one country to another or from one settlement to another

10.2.The person is moved from one town to another

10.3.The person is sold/resold or exchanged from one trafficker/pimp to another

10.4.The person is “rented”

10.5.The person has false identification or travel documents

10.6.The person does not have his/her identification or travel documents because they are in someone else’s possession

11.Sexual exploitation

11.1.The person is moved to different clubs/brothels/prostitution places

11.2.The person has tattoos, branding, or other marks showing “belonging” to a certain trafficker.

11.3.The person lives or travels with other women who sometimes do not speak his/her language

11.4.The person has clothes typical of work in sex industry

11.5.The person knows only words related to provision of sexual services in the local language or the language of the group of clients

11.6.The person is not allowed to refuse service to a client

11.7.The person is not allowed to refuse certain sexual activities

11.8.The person is forced to have unprotected sex

11.9.The person is in the brothel/night club 24 hours a day

11.10.The person is not allowed to stop prostituting if he/she wants

11.11.The person is subjected to forced gynaecological exams and pregnancy tests

11.12.The person is forced to take contraceptives or terminate a pregnancy

11а.Indirect indicators

11.13.There’s evidence that groups of women are living together under the control of other people

11.14.There are advertisements in brothels suggesting sexual services of women of certain nationalities

11.15.There is information that prostituting women provide services to clients of a certain nationality

11.16.Clients report that the prostituting woman seems nervous or anxious and says she is forced to prostitute

12.Labour exploitation

12.1.The person is subjected to forced gynaecological exams and pregnancy tests

12.2.The person lives in agricultural or industrial buildings

12.3.The person is not dressed adequately for the job he/she is doing

12.4.The person has not received any training for the job he/she is doing

12а.Indirect indicators

12.4.The person has not received any training for the job he/she is doing

12.5.Notices have been posted in languages other than the local language

12.6.The employer or manager is unable to show the documents required for employing workers from other countries.

12.7.The employer or manager is unable to show records of wages paid to workers

12.8.There are no health and safety notices.

12.9.Equipment is designed or has been modified so that it can be operated by children

13.Begging and pick-pocketing

13.1.The person begs in public places or in the public transport

13.2.The person is part of a group for begging, petty theft, or other type of criminal activity

13.3.The person has physical impairments that appear to be the result of mutilation

13.4.The person participates in activities of organized criminal groups

13.5.The person is punished if he/she does not steal enough

13.6.The person moves daily in large groups and over considerable distances

13.7.The person lives together with other people who are not part of his/her family who are known to the police in relation to criminal activities

13.8.The person travels with members of a criminal group to the country of destination

13.9.The person has been forbidden to leave the country in accordance with the Law for Bulgarian identification documents

13а.Indirect indicators

13.10.The cases of crimes related to begging or pick-pocketing increase

13.11.The group of presumed victims has moved across many countries over a certain period of time

13.12.The person is known in relation to begging

13.13.The presumed victims have been involved in begging, pick-pocketing or other types of criminal activity in the country or abroad

14.Domestic servitude

14.1.The person lives with the family like an aide (domestic help, babysitter, caretaker, etc.)

14.2.The person does not eat with the rest of the family.

14.3.The person does not have any personal space.

14.5.The person is reported missing by his/her employer even though he/she is still living in the employer’s house

14.6.The person rarely or never leaves the house

14.7.The person cannot leave the house without his/her employer

14.8.The person does not receive enough food

14.9.The person is subjected to insults, abuse, threats or violence

15.Trafficking of children (up to 18 years of age)

15.1.The child carries and/or sells drugs

15.2.The child is part of a group of children of the same nationality (ethnicity)

15.3.The child is part of a group with the same adult (guardian)

15.4.The child is unaccompanied and was “found” by an adult of the same nationality.

15.5.The child is part of a group with other children who travel with the public transport for no obvious reason.

15.6.The child lives with adults who are not his/her relatives

15.7.The child is neglected.(5)

15.8.The child tried to escape from the officer who is detaining him/her

15.9.The child is scared and uncommunicative

15.10.The child does not know the local language

15.11.The child persistently begs from people on the street

15.12.The child has been detained by the police before and is registered for thefts

15.13.The child does not go to school and cannot read or write

15.14.The child is trained to speak in the same way in certain situations

15.15.The child cannot use the money he/she earns

15.16.The child is under permanent control/monitoring of an adult from a distance

15а.Indirect indicators

15.17.The adults that live with the child have his/her identity documents and a declaration of consent from the child’s parents

15.18.The adults that live with the child have large sums of money without being able to prove their origin

16.Trafficking of pregnant women

16.1.The woman is a few months pregnant

16.2.The woman is a few months pregnant but tries to cover her condition

16.3.The woman travels with a man who claims to be the baby’s father

16.4.The woman is a few months pregnant and travels with people who are not her relatives

16.5.The woman is a few months pregnant and travels but does not have the necessary finances or documents to give birth abroad for medical reasons

ІІ. Indicators describing the victim

17.Behaviour and appearance

17.1.The person is afraid to speak

17.2.The person’s behaviour suggests that he/she has been instructed how to behave and what to say

17.3.The person is trying to escape.

17.4.The person stays away from the other women in the club/brothel

17.5.The person believes he/she is observed or followed

17.6.The person does not know his/her rights

17.7.The person allows other people to speak on his/her behalf

17.8.The person shows fear or anxiety

17.9.The person exhibits anger or nervousness

17.10.The person reports problems with sleep and nightmares

17.11.The person has problems with memory

17.12.The person exhibits signs of depression

17.13.The person is confused about time and space

17.14.The person reports that he/she is going crazy

17.15.The person uses drugs and alcohol

17.16.The person shows mistrust towards authorities

17.17.The person is afraid to reveal their immigration status

17.18.The person protects the trafficker or other third parties

17.19.The person shows deviant behaviour

17.20.The person has sudden mood swings

17.21.The person provides contradictory or incomplete information

17.22.The person has psychosomatic complaints.(6)

17.23.The person has physical complaints as a result of sexual abuse.(7)

17.24.The person reports previous or current pregnancy

17.25.There are signs of violence on the person’s body

17.26.The person looks exhausted

17.27.The person has negligent appearance

17.28.The person has physical and/or psychological difficulties


18.1.People from the person’s environment (parents, relatives, friends, neighbours) suspect that the person may be a victim of trafficking

18.2.The person shows little or no attachment to the home and has started to isolate him/herself

18.3.The person tends to run away from home (or the institution in which he/she lives)

18.4.The person lives in a place that is possibly used for exploitation of people

18.5.The person comes from a place (country, town) which is known to be a place for recruitment for victims of trafficking

18.6.The person is followed on controlled in other ways

18.7.The person has lots of new acquaintances and new things (clothes, cell phone)

18.8.The person is often absent from school or has left school

18.9.The person has contacts with pimps, traffickers and other people connected with trafficking in persons

18.10.The place where the person works or lives is characterized with special security measures – presence of bodyguards, cameras, hiding places, etc.

18.11.The person travels frequently from and to countries of destination/origin