U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Labor Trafficking in North Carolina: A Statewide Survey Using Multistage Sampling

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2018
24 pages
This study's primary goal was to produce reliable estimates of the prevalence of labor trafficking victimization among farmworkers in North Carolina.
Just over 40 migrant farmworkers were interviewed to identify potential trafficking cases and indicators that trafficking may be occurring. The study determined that about 25 percent of the sample had experienced some type of employment abuse; nearly 18 percent reported incidents that could be considered labor trafficking, and 22 percent reported lesser forms of labor abuse and exploitation. The most common type of abuse was a form of intimidation, threats, and fear (13 percent), fraud and deception (12 percent), and exploitative labor practices (12 percent). The least common type of abuse involved restrictions on physical or communicative freedom (7 percent). Being undocumented was the strongest predictor of labor abuse. Given an estimated annual average of 61,455 migrant farmworkers in North Carolina over the 3-year data-collection period, just over 17,000 migrant farmworkers in North Carolina may have experienced some form of labor exploitation in their lifetimes, with nearly 11,000 experiencing labor trafficking and just over 13,000 experiencing other forms of abuse and exploitation. Given the link between documentation status and abuse, additional research is needed to determine whether and how temporary work visas may protect workers and whether this impact varies across states and by industry. Future research should also explore further the extent to which immigration policies and visa programs may impact experiences of labor trafficking and exploitation among migrant workers. These relationships should also be explored outside of North Carolina. 8 tables, 3 maps, and 10 references

Date Published: January 1, 2018