An Eight-Year Analysis of Labor Trafficking Arrest Cases in the United States


Bandak Lul, MA; Kristen Bracy, MA, MSW & Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, MSW, PhD | September 20 | 10:15-11:15 AM

Topic: Research, Law Enforcement | Knowledge Level: Beginner, Intermediate | Location: TBD

Labor trafficking across the United States is a serious and pervasive national problem that has remained largely unexamined. Media reports indicate that labor trafficking occurs in both rural and urban areas in the United States, targeting victims who are both U.S. citizens and immigrants of any gender, race, age, and sexual orientation. The ASU Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research examined labor trafficking arrest cases throughout the United States from 2011 to 2018. The study identified 180 traffickers arrested for labor trafficking of both migrants and U.S. citizens and 273 victims of labor trafficking during this time period. The research team focused on arrest cases for which there was evidence qualifying the incident as labor trafficking under the U.S. federal, Trafficking Victim Protection Act definition. The team used the three constituent elements of human trafficking (action, means, and purpose) to identify potential labor trafficking arrest reports in the media and governmental agencies. Details about the cases will be explored and characteristics such as transportation, recruitment, and control tactics will be presented. Recommendations for future research and community action will be discussed.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Provide information to develop specific training for law enforcement and prosecutors on characteristics of labor trafficking in the United States

·  Explore the distribution of arrests of labor traffickers of migrant and domestic workers in the United States,

·  Explore patterns of different types of labor traffickers of migrant and domestic workers (females, staffing agency-involved, solo vs. group offenders)

·  Add to the literature regarding the vulnerabilities of migrant and domestic workers exploited by labor trafficking

·  Fill a gap in the knowledge about the scope of arrests of labor traffickers of migrant and domestic workers in the United States

About the Presenters