Funded by the National Institute of Justice, an exploratory study of U.S. citizen labor trafficking examined how U.S. citizens experience exploitation and labor trafficking victimization, what makes them vulnerable to victimization and how U.S. citizen labor trafficking victims seek help in exploitative labor situations. As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on various narratives have been posited to explain why low-wage workers are not returning to the workforce. While not the focus of the study, the results suggest that low-wage workers experienced exploitive labor conditions prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and may be less likely to return to these workplaces due to fears about continuing exploitation and abuse. These finding underscore the need for fair wages and oversight of industries where abuses have been more prevalent. The team comprised researchers from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Collaborators and Funders
- Meredith Dank, Research Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Sheldon Zhang, Chair and Professor, School of Criminology & Justice Studies at UMass Lowell
- Andrea Hughes, Research Associate, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Irina Fanarraga, Student, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Cameron P. Burke, Student, School of Criminology & Justice Studies at UMass Lowell
- Veyli Ortiz Solis, Student, School of Criminology & Justice Studies at UMass Lowell