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An Exploratory Study of Labor Trafficking Among U.S. Citizen Victims

NCJ Number
Meredith Dank, Ph.D. ; Amy Farrell, Ph.D.; Sheldon Zhang, Ph.D.; Andrea Hughes, LMSW; Stephen Abeyta; Irina Fanarraga; Cameron P. Burke; Veyli Ortiz Solis
Date Published
September 2021
97 pages

This National Institute of Justice grant-funded research report presents the features, goals, and methodology of an exploratory study on labor-trafficking that victimizes U.S. citizens.


The Research Foundation of the City University of New York, under a 2017 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, examined U.S. citizen labor trafficking victimization. The study consisted of three primary objectives: 1) determine what personal or structural vulnerabilities put U.S. citizens at risk for labor trafficking; 2) determine where labor trafficking is located on a continuum of labor exploitation for U.S. citizens; and 3) determine how U.S. citizens experience victimization from labor trafficking. These objectives were addressed through a survey of individuals who are at high risk for labor-related victimization in three U.S. cites (New York City, San Diego, and Anchorage) with personal interviews being conducted with a sub-sample of victims identified. The samples used in the study were identified with “snowball” sampling techniques and in collaboration with social service providers. The overall project has a research and development component defined in applicable law, and it complies with Part 200, Uniform Requirements – 2 CFR, 200.210 (a) (14).