Forced labor -labor trafficking- is not just something that happens overseas, but right here in our own backyards. Every year as many as 17,500 people are trafficked to the United States from over 50 countries worldwide, of which 80 percent are female and 50 percent are children. This shocking figure only notes one side of the the evil face of modern slavery as the number of children sexually exploited in the U.S. is as high as 300,000.
The U.S., 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.”Labor traffickers use forms of coercion such as violence, threats, and lies to force victims to work against their will. The most common types of labor trafficking include industries which employ those such as domestic servants, hotel staff, restaurant workers, farm workers, or factory workers. Victims of labor trafficking in the U.S. have been identified all across the country in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
If you suspect a case of labor trafficking please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline at 1-888-3737-888. The NHTRC operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.