Last January in Los Angeles County a police sweep rescued twenty-eight children who were being used in a sex-trafficking ring. Given the magnitude of the travesty it is a small number, but an extremely significant one to each of the children.
Several weeks ago I posted here the organization Abolish Child Trafficking (ACT - http://abolishchildtrafficking.org/). Another resource is the National Human Trafficking Hotline (https://humantraffickinghotline.org/) where one can report a tip, request services, and access much information about the issue. If there one has serious suspicions about a child in captivity, notifying this group will result in professionals investigating the possibility.
One need be careful about blanket assumptions, but LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell reports that about 70% of children who are trafficked come from foster care. Also, children who appear to be living or “making their living” on the street are prime suspects. Put simply, if one encounters situations that raise questions or suspicions, contacting one of these organizations is the prudent course of action.
Fear of being wrong is not a good reason to hold back from contacting the hotline if serious concerns are recurrent. What is eminently more important is conveying information that might lead to the rescue of a child and the apprehension of an adult predador. Also, anonymity is almost always an option, and confidentially is stock in trade.
While sex-trafficking of adults is abhorrent, the using of children is reprehensible times ten. This scourge will not go away by itself. Action, even with attendant risks, is needed by anyone who discovers a situation giving rise to definite qualms about the possibility of a child in captivity.