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Labor Exploitation and Trafficking of Agricultural Workers During the Pandemic

Over the last year, Polaris examined data from the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline to determine the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human trafficking in the United States. The effort involved comparing the volume of identified likely trafficking situations in separate periods before and during the pandemic response.

There was a more than 70% increase in reported likely labor trafficking victims who held H-2A visas that authorizes the work of migrant agricultural workers in the United States. In addition to other abuses, one-third of these individuals complained about being denied medical attention, while they were deemed essential by the United States Government.

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Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.