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Knowing how to spot the signs of a trafficking victim could save lives! Because of our attractive economic conditions as a regional hub, Singapore is a popular transit and destination hub for trafficking crimes. This challenge is exacerbated by the increased movement of persons across national boundaries today. The Singapore government takes a serious view of Trafficking in Persons and its related crimes. Offenders will be severely dealt with and victims provided with the necessary support and protection.

Since 2014, Hagar has been working closely with the local government to tackle this crime and provide victim care to survivors.

Below is a list of indicators and signs of trafficking. The list is not exhaustive and each indicator should not be considered in isolation. Further assessment may be necessary to identify a potential human trafficking situation. Anyone with information on suspected cases should report them to the police at any police station.

For Singapore, please contact:
police hotline 6435 0000 or email to
Ministry of Manpower at 6438 5122 or email to

All information provided will be kept confidential.

For all other countries, kindly contact the respective police hotlines in your country.

General Indicators

  • controlled and unable to leave job
  • bruises or other signs of battering
  • fear and depression
  • not in possession of passport, travel or identity documents
  • have false identity or travel documents
  • be found in or connected to location that is likely to be used for exploiting people
  • subjected to insults, abuse, threats and violence
  • does not know their home or work address
  • afraid of revealing immigration status
Human trafficking definition

Victims of human trafficking may exhibit the following specific signs:

Signs of Domestic Servitude
  • sleeps in an inappropriate place
  • reported missing by their employer even though they are still living in the employer’s house
  • never or rarely leaves the house for social reasons
  • always accompanied by employer
  • given only leftovers to eat
Signs of Sexual Exploitation
  • live and travel in a group, sometimes with people who do not speak the same language
  • move from one brothel to another or work in various locations
  • sleep where they work
  • be escorted whenever they go to and return from work and other activities
  • bear tattoos or marks indicating ownership by exploiters
  • work long hours and have none or few days off
  • have very few items of clothing
  • have no cash of their own
  • only know how to say sex-related words in the local language
  • no right to refuse unprotected and/or violent sex
Signs of Labour Exploitation
  • works and lives in the same place and has no choice of accommodation
  • lives in places with unsanitary conditions or confined spaces
  • given only leftovers to eat
  • has no labour contract and no access to earnings
  • employer is unable to produce documents required for foreign employment
  • employer has no records of wages paid to workers
  • unable to move freely and always accompanied by employer
  • disciplined through fines
  • subject to security measures to keep them on the work premise
  • inadequately equipped to do the work such as lacking protective gear, basic training and professional licenses
  • safety gear is of poor quality or missing
  • work equipment is designed or modified for operation by children
  • no health and safety notices at work site

This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators.

Empower a survivor and walk the journey of recovery and restoration   Human Trafficking happens in Singapore too