The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 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.”
Worldwide, Labor trafficking accounts for 68% of all human trafficking, according to the International Labor Organization. Although, sex trafficking gets most of the news coverage in the United States, it does not mean that labor trafficking is the lesser of the two evils.
Unlike sex trafficking, every one of us fuels labor trafficking with our everyday purchases. You can find out the estimated number of slaves that "work" for you at Slavery Footprint.
During 2012, in Breaux Bridge, one of the Louisiana's worst labor trafficking cases came to light. Guest workers came to Cj's Seafood for a job peeling crawfish at a Louisiana seafood supplier. Instead, they were locked inside the plant, forced to work 24-hour shifts, paid below minimum wage, cursed and threatened with beatings by shovels
if they failed to make their quota, and endured constant surveillance at their nearby trailers from a boss who warned them, "You don’t want to know me as an enemy." Thankfully, the seafood plant was investigated and ordered to pay almost a quarter of a million dollars in backpay and fines.
We know labor trafficking is happening locally more than people think. We just need everyone to be looking for it and asking questions.
It can be anywhere. We ask that you learn the signs, call the hotline, and let us know if you suspect anything at all.
You can also start researching your purchases more. Are the products you buy Fair Trade?
Products known for being produced using slave labor: