Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Foreign Born Labor Trafficking

Over the last few years, local community stakeholders, including immigration attorneys and Portland nonprofit organizations, have brought information regarding foreign-born trafficking cases occurring in the Portland metro area. These cases involve foreign-born individuals (with both documented and undocumented status) who are brought to Oregon under a false promise to work in the service industry (e.g.: migrant/seasonal farm labor, tree harvesting industry, domestic caretakers and nannies). Traffickers are sometimes known to the victims as they originate from the same community, are sometimes even family relatives, or purport to be an employment organization. Traffickers often use means of immigration fraud, coercion and use of physical force to deceive trafficking victims and lure them into falsely promised jobs.

Red Means Help


To increase the chances of identifying trafficking victims and provide them with a pathway to safety, the Police Bureau and its partners at Portland State University have launched an awareness campaign: Red Means Help. Red Means Help focuses on non-verbal communication messaging by possible victims with no English or limited English language skills and an officer/first responder. Its goal is to educate first responders, raise public awareness and message to victims there is a way to reach out for assistance.

The Red Means Help campaign was designed by the students of Portland State University Advertising Department’s agency, Fir NW. The Red Means Help campaign will have strategically placed messaging where victims often travel, such as transit. Ads will appear in several languages and establishes a clue officers will be trained to look for.

As part of the campaign, the Bureau has produced a law enforcement roll call video on response protocols as well as a documentary film “Reclaiming their Lives,” which targets a specific audience of vetted community stakeholders and partners in order to shield survivors’ identities. 

The Red Means Help campaign was developed with the understanding that the majority of victims come from countries and cultures where they do not trust police/government. Trafficking victims often do not report their labor trafficking exploitation, as they don’t know they have victim’s rights in Oregon, and are unfamiliar with how to access the criminal justice system.

The Portland Police Bureau has also established an email that the community can use to share tips/non-emergency content:

Red Means Help

Foreign Born Labor Trafficking

Red Means Help (Poster)

Large - Multilingual