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Labor Trafficking in San Diego County: Looking for a Hidden Population

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2016
2 pages
This article details an NIJ funded study by researchers at San Diego State University to improve the understanding of the nature and prevalence of labor trafficking in the United States.
Human trafficking has become big business, estimated to generate billions of dollars each year by entrapping and exploiting millions of people. But the information and hard numbers about trafficking are limited, so questions remain: How many people are victims of trafficking? Who are they? Under what circumstances does trafficking occur? This study has numerous implications for the study of labor trafficking, including the validation of a method to study this hidden population, and provides a better understanding of labor trafficking dynamics and experience that is useful for both researchers and practitioners from criminal justice, the U.S. Department of Labor, immigration enforcement and service providers. There is still much to be learned about labor trafficking in the U.S., but the study suggests the following steps should be taken: 1) Direct resources to counter labor trafficking; 2) Investigate and prosecute violators; 3) Develop a bridge between law enforcement and advocacy groups to build trust with migrant laborer communities, particularly those that may be fearful of law enforcement due to their immigration or visa status; and 4) Create a public awareness campaign that publicizes prosecutions and provides information on social services available to labor trafficking survivors.

Date Published: September 1, 2016