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Community policy

How to help stop human trafficking

As a Host or guest, you can take steps on how to identify and respond to a potential human trafficking situation in your listing. With this in mind, we strongly encourage you to report suspected cases of human trafficking to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline. If you are outside of the U.S., you can find organizations across the globe that address the issue of human trafficking in the Global Modern Slavery Directory (GMSD).

Defining human trafficking

The definition of human trafficking can differ depending on what country you are in, but most countries’ definitions use three core elements  provided by the United Nations. Situations of trafficking must include: 

  1. An act: the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons. 
  2. A means: the threat or use of force, abduction, fraud, coercion, or abuse of power. 
  3. A purpose: Exploitation including the exploitation of sex work of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the removal of organs.

Who is vulnerable

While anyone can be trafficked, some people are far more vulnerable than others because of unmet basic needs. These include people living in poverty or in unstable housing situations, and people with a history of trauma or addiction. Because of current and historic discrimination and inequity, people of color, immigrants, and people who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to be exploited for these vulnerabilities and face trafficking. 

For a situation to become human trafficking, signs of force fraud, or coercion need to be present. These may look like:

  • Person is unable to leave a situation freely or safely and has no control over their money and  personal belongings
  • Person is compelled to take a job under different conditions than those that were originally agreed upon during recruitment
  • Person is made to consume drugs or alcohol by another person
  • Threats of or use of physical force or violence 
  • Use of physical restraints
  • Physical injuries

Characteristics you might encounter if exploitation is happening at a listing:

  • Forced labor:
    • Worker is a minor
    • Signs of poor hygiene, malnourishment or fatigue
    • Worker lodged by employer in inappropriate space (no privacy/makeshift sleeping arrangement)
    • Owe money to an employer or recruiter and/or not being paid what they were promised or are owed
    • Worker not allowed to take appropriate breaks
    • Worker has dangerous or unhealthy working conditions and are not provided with appropriate safety gear or training
    • Appear to be monitored by another person when talking or interacting with others
  • Sex trafficking:
    • Listing address is referenced in online ads for commercial sex
    • Reports of frequent unauthorized guests at varying hours.
    • Excessive amounts of sex paraphernalia in listing
    • Presence of commercial hardware set up for a video/photo shoot

What to do if you encounter a potential human trafficking situation

As a Host or guest, you can help stop human trafficking. If you encounter a situation at your listing that could potentially be human trafficking, you can get help by contacting the National Human Trafficking Hotline by phone at 1-888-373-7888, by texting “BeFree” to 233733, or by live chat at The hotline is available 24/7, toll-free, confidential, and in 200+ languages. 

You should also report a potential human trafficking incident to Airbnb. Airbnb’s Safety Center is an in-app one-stop safety hub with key resources. You can reach Airbnb’s Urgent Support Line through the Safety Center, as well as local emergency services wherever you are in the world. 

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