Human trafficking is usually associated with sexual exploitation, but it also happens across low-wage labor sectors and particularly affects undocumented workers.
“Trafficking is preventable,” said Dr. Denise Brennan, a Georgetown University Anthropology professor at a Cal State Long Beach lecture on Thursday. “If you want to prevent trafficking, support immigration policies that will allow more than 11 million undocumented individuals to live and work without fear of deportation.”
Human trafficking is a serious problem in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it has become the second fastest growing criminal industry with drug trafficking holding the top spot.
Brennan, author of “Life Interrupted: Trafficking Into Forced Labor In the United States,” has written about survivors of human trafficking who are struggling to live in the United States.
For migrant workers affected by trafficking, some organizations have come together to help. Lideres Campesinas, based throughout California, helps exploited farm-working women and conducts research on the matter.
“They’re woman who get together in their living rooms and talk about how you ask for your wage that you weren’t given and how to work on protecting [yourself from] sexual assault in the fields,” said Brennan.