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Indicators of Labor Trafficking Among North Carolina Migrant Farmworkers, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2013
147 pages
This study documents the characteristics and indicators of labor trafficking among North Carolina migrant farmworkers, including component crimes, collateral crimes, and other community impacts; and it provides law enforcement agencies with knowledge to assist them in identifying labor trafficking in their jurisdictions.
Although law enforcement personnel interviewed insisted that farmworkers were treated well in their jurisdictions, outreach workers, who had direct contact with the workers, reported that workers were often abused and exploited. Approximately 25 percent of the interviewed farmworkers reported ever experiencing a situation that may constitute trafficking; and 39 percent reported other abuse. The most common type of exploitation was abusive labor practices (34 percent), followed by deception and lies (21 percent), restriction and deprivation (15 percent), and threats of physical harm (12 percent). A worker's lack of legal status was the strongest and most consistent predictor of experiencing trafficking and other violations. Workers in counties with moderate to large Hispanic populations were less likely to report any type of victimization compared to those living and working in counties with relatively small Hispanic populations. Trafficking and non-trafficking abuse were less common in counties with a high proportion of the labor force employed in agriculture. This information can be helpful to law enforcement agencies in developing training components for law enforcement officers, particularly in those areas where migrant farming is prevalent. Investigation and prosecution efforts should involve close collaboration with community-based organizations whose personnel have frequent interactions with migrant workers and their families. One of the most effective ways to reduce labor trafficking is through awareness campaigns that include flyers and billboards, particularly in areas with large immigrant populations. Data collection strategies included stakeholder interviews, a farm worker survey, and secondary community data (demographics, labor, and crime). 23 exhibits, 40 references, and appended survey and interview instruments

Date Published: August 1, 2013