Thirty Percent of Migrant Laborers in San Diego Experience Trafficking Violations [open pdf - 149KB]
"Human trafficking has become big business, estimated to generate billions of dollars each year by entrapping and exploiting millions of people. But there is limited information and few hard numbers about trafficking: How many people are victims of trafficking? Who are they? Under what circumstances does trafficking occur? Fully answering these questions is difficult, because victims of human traffickers are often unable or unwilling to come forward. But law enforcement and other officials cannot solve the problem until it is better understood. NIJ funded a study by researchers at San Diego State University to improve understanding about the nature and prevalence of labor trafficking. The study, 'Looking for a Hidden Population: Trafficking of Migrant Laborers in San Diego County', examines the experiences of 826 unauthorized Spanish-speaking workers in San Diego County, Calif., and finds that a significant number -- more than 30 percent -- have experienced an incident that meets the legal definition of trafficking. The study used a conservative -- or narrow -- interpretation of what constitutes trafficking, defining a trafficking violation as an act that involves restrictions imposed by employers on a worker's physical or communicative freedom, and/or actual or threatened assaults to a worker's physical body. Examples of labor trafficking violations include beatings, imprisonment and sexual abuse. The study also looked at practices that did not rise to the level of labor trafficking but that were fraudulent, deceptive or abusive. These included wage theft and instructing workers to lie about their own or their employer's identity. A majority of the workers -- 55 percent -- were victims of abusive labor practices or gross exploitations."
NCJ 242955; National Criminal Justice 242955
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov/