The National Center on Sexual Exploitation recently honored InstaCart and DoorDash for their efforts to provide support and rescue for both victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

During early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer men were purchasing women, children, or any persons, for sex. This should have been a good thing, but instead of selling them for sex, some pimps and sex traffickers turned to the gig economy as a new source of income. Traffickers have been forcing their victims to work in gig economy positions and then turn their profits over to their exploiters.

The gig economy is a popular term for freelance or contract workers who take freelance jobs on-demand, and are often working multiple freelance jobs at once. Common gig economy jobs include freelancers, drivers, or deliverers (for companies like Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, or Instacart).

In response, Instacart and DoorDash collaborated with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation to provide resources and hotlines for victims of these abuses on their apps. 

In times like these, it is important to think outside the box in terms of providing support and rescue opportunities for victims. We like to recognize companies for their efforts. 

If you know of an individual or organization that you would like to recognize, let us know by sending an email to or nominate them for a Dignity Defense Alert through the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

Would you know the signs of trafficking in someone you met or worked with? Would you be able to identify a potential victim?


If not, learn more about our Red Flags anti-trafficking course. By taking this course, you can empower yourself to recognize the signs of trafficking and take action to fight human trafficking one person at a time.