What is Labor Trafficking?

Labor Trafficking consists of child labor, involuntary domestic servitude, child soldiers and bonded labor. You may see victims of this in service-related jobs, hotels, bars restaurants, or door to door sales. Labor Trafficking is also common in agriculture and large plants.

Historically, labor trafficking has been a big issue in Iowa due to our agricultural needs, along with Iowa being home to a variety of factories. Eight years ago, a raid in Postville made national news when law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions investigated a meat packing plant and found that hundreds of undocumented children were working well over the legal time frames. They found that children were being paid almost nothing for 16-20hrs of work per day, and many did not attend school. In addition, many of the young teenage girls reported being sexually assaulted by management.

These stories are very typical in the labor trafficking industry. Smugglers and owners offer immigrants jobs and a better life only to find out, when they reach their destination, that the trafficker takes their identification, puts them in horrible work conditions, forces them to live in inflated housing with many others, and pay them very little after they are charged for transportation, housing, and food costs. Many of these victim work 16-20hrs with very few breaks.

*If you see something, say something - Contact your local law enforcement if you suspect that someone is being subjected to labor trafficking*

Please contact our crisis hotline at 319-352-1108 or 1-800-410–7233 if you or someone you know is is in need of support.