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Labor Trafficking

Human Trafficking

Labor TraffickingLabor trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

Labor trafficking includes situations of debt bondage, forced labor, and involuntary child labor. Labor traffickers use violence, threats, lies, and other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will in many industries. 

Common types of labor trafficking include people forced to work in homes as domestic servants, farmworkers coerced through violence as they harvest crops, or factory workers held in inhumane conditions with little to no pay. 

In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines labor trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery” (22 USC § 7102(9)). See the Federal Laws page for more detailed definitions.

Action-Means-Purpose Model

Labor trafficking may be distinguished from other forms of labor exploitation by applying the Action + Means + Purpose Model. Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker takes any one of the enumerated actions, and then employs the means of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services.At a minimum, one element from each column must be present to establish a potential situation of human trafficking. The presence of force, fraud or coercion indicates that the victim has not consented of his or her own free will.


Demand For Labor Trafficking: What You Need To Know

Human trafficking victims make an alarmingly high number of consumer goods and food products, imported to the United States and produced domestically. More often than we realize, elements of forced labor may be present within the supply chain of products we buy or the services we pay for. As economies around the world integrate, it is faster and easier for goods produced with forced labor to enter the global market. In the U.S., labor traffickers exploit and enslave both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens. 

In cases of labor trafficking, consumers provide the demand and profit incentive for traffickers. These consumers can include companies that subcontract certain types of services, end-consumers who buy cheap goods produced by trafficking victims, or individuals who use the services of trafficking victims. By supporting fair pay for workers and basing our purchasing choices on the fair treatment of those who make our products, consumers have the power to reduce the demand for labor trafficking.

The following information on labor trafficking cases is based solely on information learned through the substantive, US-based signals -- phone calls, emails, and online tip reports -- received by the NHTRC hotline as of June 30, 2016.

 

i
Total statistics from 12/7/07 to 6/30/2017.

Since 2007

Total Cases: 6,115
Total Victims - Moderate: 12,561
i
Cases categorized as “High” contain a high level of indicators of human trafficking. Cases coded as “Moderate” contain several indicators of human trafficking, or resemble common trafficking scenarios but lack core details of force, fraud, or coercion.
Total Victims - High: 13,453
2016 statistics are current as of June 30, 2017.
Labor Trafficking in the Restaurant Industry

Labor Trafficking in the Restaurant Industry

Between 1/1/2014 and 12/31/2014, the NHTRC hotline received reports of 5,042 potential human trafficking cases believed to be occurring in the United States.

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Labor Trafficking in the Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Industries

Labor Trafficking in the Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Industries

Between 1/1/2014 and 12/31/2014, the NHTRC hotline received reports of 5,042 potential human trafficking cases believed to be occurring in the United States.
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Conducting Outreach to Labor Trafficking Victims

Labor trafficking victims often face challenges in reporting their situation and seeking assistance.  Many labor trafficking victims are physically isolated, living on worksites or in group housing. Even victims serving in a customer service role may face monitored or regulated interactions with customers.  This resource provides an introduction to labor trafficking and suggestions for organizations seeking to reach potential labor trafficking victims. 

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