Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $498,844)
The proposed project seeks to fill a knowledge gap by studying the process by which persons are victimized by traffickers to perform forced labor. Using an in-depth case study method, the researchers will analyze the stages or components of the labor victimization experience from recruitment and entrapment to transportation, documents acquisition, the victimization itself, victim efforts to seek help, and the process of victim extrication from the exploitative situation. Using data from victim service records and victims themselves, supplemented with data from law enforcement, researchers will examine trafficking cases that fall into multiple types of labor trafficking including domestic servitude, restaurant and service work, commercial agriculture, factory work (sweatshops), and other affected types of work. The proposed research will provide much needed information on the nature and characteristics of labor trafficking in the U.S., including information about how labor traffickers carry out their operations. The research will also help identify barriers that may prevent law enforcement from recognizing or acting upon cases of human trafficking that have been identified by victim service providers.