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Human Trafficking Training
Lesson One: Target

"Traffickers are quite skillful at picking naive targets,

finding and exploiting a weakness, deception and

manipulation.  Their methods are so good they get

victims to go with them willingly. "

What Makes an Attractive Target?

In the upcoming training chapter on Deception we will detail "how" traffickers approach targets and discuss "why" they choose one target over another.

To understand what makes an attractive target, we have to understand what traffickers "look for." Traffickers carefully "select" targets based on a combination of vulnerability factors that make someone an easy mark, plus someone they believe can be sold for "top dollar."

Traffickers are always in recruit mode for new victims.  The victims they have will have a diminishing return as they get used up.  That is to say, the amount  people will pay for them goes down as they get older and show signs of drug addiction they lose attractiveness to buyers.  While it is true that today, all youth have some element of risk from predators seeking victims, we do know that  traffickers will disqualify some people immediately.  One thing that will disqualify a minor from being a target is that they are with an adult.

What Makes Someone an Easy Mark?


Fresh - in the trafficking world it refers to a girl who has never been sold or "put-out" before. These victims command a higher price

  • The Predator has lone access to them.
  • The Predator approaches his target in the wee hours of the morning when no one else is around.
  • It's obvious to the predator that this underage minor is homeless or a runaway and that they are badly in need of shelter.

What Kind of Victims Get Top Dollar?
  • The victim is 12 years old or younger
  • The victims is inexperienced sexually.
  • The victim is considered "fresh" and has never been sold before.

(insert video here)

How Traffickers Select Targets
  • They select targets to whom they have "Isolated" access (2am, homeless, no one around)
  • They select targets with a history of abuse (have already been sexualized and can be manipulaited into survival sex)
  • They select targets who are sexually curious (inappropiate online conversations of sexual nature)

Major Contributing Factors

"There are two major factors that contribute to making a

minor an attractive target: Choices and Situations."

Choices indicate decisions made by a minor that put them at risk for becoming a target of human trafficking. While situations indicate a set of circumstances that a child is born into or experiences that are beyond his or her own control which in turn put them at risk for becoming a target for human trafficking. Other contributing factors can also include foster care, issues regarding low self-esteem and naivete.


   1. Choices
  • Runaway

  • Truancy

  • Risky Behavior

  • Online Risky Behavior

  • Bad Friend

2. Situations

  • Abuse

    • Sexual

    • Physical

  • Neglect:

  • Poverty

  • Homeless

Other Factors

  • Foster care:

  • Low Self-Esteem

  • Naivete