Human trafficking is a crime against humanity and a grave threat to the freedom and liberty of millions in the United States and around the world. Therefore, President Biden has proclaimed January 2022 as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This month’s dedication is vital to raising awareness about the different forms of human trafficking and educating people about how to spot this horrific crime.
Survivors of human trafficking include men, women, and children, and are disproportionately members of immigrant, migrant, or other vulnerable communities. In the words of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” At the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), we recognize that every worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. The EEOC’s enforcement of protections against workplace discrimination has an important role in the fight to end human trafficking and to fulfill America’s promise of equal justice. When force, fraud or coercion are used to compel labor or exploit workers, traffickers and employers may violate not only criminal laws but also the federal laws enforced by our agency – in particular, the laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the bases of race, national origin, sex and disability.
To protect our individual rights to freedom and dignity, each of us can play a part in ending human trafficking – by becoming more informed of its devastating impact, raising awareness about its atrocities, and reporting instances of inhumane working conditions. Through our multiprong approach of enforcement, education, and empowerment, the EEOC is committed to protecting our most vulnerable populations from the horrors of human trafficking and advancing equal opportunity in the workplace for all.
Workforce Solutions helps victims of human trafficking find and enter good jobs. Victims of human trafficking are individuals who meet the definition under section 103(8) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
- sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
- the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
This provides basic guidance on recognizing victims, connecting them to victims’ service agencies and resources, and providing Workforce Solutions service.