Labor Trafficking Victimization among Farmworkers in North Carolina: Role of Demographic Characteristics and Acculturation

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Human trafficking is a hidden domestic and international problem of unknown numbers and unsubstantiated estimates. Most research on labor trafficking has focused on known cases through conducting stakeholder interviews and reviewing police and court case files. This limited prior research suggests that demographic characteristics and level of acculturation may impact one’s risk for labor trafficking victimization. However, these relationships have not been consistently demonstrated. The current research explores two primary research questions: (1) how prevalent is labor trafficking and other labor exploitation among farmworkers in North Carolina; and (2) do individual-level characteristics or circumstances place a person at greater risk of labor trafficking or other labor exploitation. This was accomplished by conducting 380 inperson interviews with migrant farmworkers in North Carolina. We used three strategies to identify migrant farmworkers: (1) attendance at community events; (2) lists of labor camps known to advocacy organizations; and (3) other public venues farmworkers visit. Based on descriptive statistics and a logistic regression analysis, we present results on the extent of farmworker abuse and exploitation, and discuss future research in this area.



human trafficking, labor exploitation, migrant farmworkers, acculturation


International Journal of Rural Criminology, v2, n2 (June, 2014), p. 225-243