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Domestic Work and Human Trafficking

"Identifying and Assisting Foreign Victims of Human Trafficking"

by Constance Huntsman, Esq.


In a disturbing visa application interview conducted by the State Department Consulate Office as described in the Urban Institute report, "Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States" (October 21, 2014), a consulate official gave an apparent labor trafficking victim a second pamphlet on human trafficking to put in her underwear because the victim told the official the first one would be taken by her employer.  The second hidden pamphlet was for her safekeeping, yet she was given no other aid by the consulate officer during the interview. The Urban Institute found that over 70% of foreign labor trafficking victims, mostly agricultural workers and domestic servitude victims, brought to the US arrived via legitimate visas; but by the time they escaped their traffickers, nearly 70% of their visas had lapsed or expired and they were now in the country illegally. This paper will explore ways to strengthen methods to identify and assist foreign victims of human trafficking during contact with U.S. Immigration.

"Rights of Domestic Servitude Victims in the US"

by Constance Huntsman, Esq.


The Urban Institute, in its report "Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States" (October 21, 2014), found that almost all labor trafficking victims realized they were being exploited and abused, but were unaware they were victims of labor trafficking, nor did they know their rights under U.S. law. One domestic servitude victim, trafficked and abused for eight years in by a family living in Maryland, sought help only after she discovered the National Human Trafficking Hotline Resource Center and learned that others had been similarly traumatized. In an act of courage, she called the Hotline and was eventually rescued. This paper will discuss the rights of human trafficking victims in the U.S. and how witnesses and other individuals can provide assistance.