Forced Labor is Human Trafficking

Posted in: Abolitionist Journal, Survivor Stories
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Life in Southeast Asia was difficult for Danny* and his family due to rural poverty and food scarcity. As a result, Danny left his wife and four children (including his newborn baby, just one month old) and migrated to the United States with hopes of bringing them to join him in the near future. A company promised Danny a work permit and Visa, steady work and decent pay. They even offered to help him send part of his paycheck to his family in Southeast Asia. However, once he arrived in the U.S., his dream was quickly shattered when he became a victim of the form of human trafficking known as forced labor or labor trafficking.

Danny’s desperation for a better life made him vulnerable labor traffickingto traffickers who prey on individuals in need. The employment recruiters promised him a wonderful job opportunity, substantial living conditions, and financial security for his family. However, upon arriving the conditions were drastically different. He was subject to oppressive work conditions and received little to no wages. When he tried to send what little money he did earn to his family, the company took some of it claiming it was for inflated exchange rates. Additionally, he was forced to take out a loan in order to pay the 30,000 pesos required to initially get the job.

This loan put Danny in debt bondage and the labor traffickers forced him to submit a blank check so they could access his bank account at any time. Danny endured daily threats of violence and deportation while living in an overcrowded, substandard apartment without adequate food or drinking water. Within this home he was deprived of sleep and food, endured mental abuse, and was stripped of his basic human rights.

Danny endured these hardships for too long but his resilient personality empowered him to persevere. He was eventually able to get away and find help. Florida Abolitionist’s victim advocates have been by his side ever since, helping him put his life back together.

Danny has not seen his family in over seven years. During this time, he has missed watching his children grow up. He is currently awaiting approval for his work permit and T-Visa (given to victims of human trafficking) so his family can join him in the United States, but it can take up to a year and sometimes longer. Until then, he has no way of legally earning income but is unable to return to Asia to be with his family out of fear of retribution of the traffickers. His family was even forced to go into hiding because of their threats. This has left Danny financially unable to support himself or his family. This is why people like you make it possible for victims of human trafficking to rebuild their lives by donating to Florida Abolitionist. Without the consistent financial support, we would not be able to help victims like Danny. Thank you for making a difference!

*pseudonym

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