Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

According to the Washington State Task Force against Trafficking of Humans, victims of labor trafficking may be found in “small businesses as well as large-scale industries dominated by multinational corporations.”

According to the Polaris Project, “human trafficking victims make an alarmingly high number of consumer goods and food products” that are both imported to or produced in the US. The Polaris Project reports traffickers in the U.S. exploit and enslave both foreign nationals (some of whom enter the U.S. legally) and U.S. citizens. Some of the industries with labor trafficking include:

  • Domestic labor 
  • Agriculture 
  • Landscaping 
  • Day labor sites 
  • Garment factories 
  • Meat-packing plants 
  • Door-to-door sales 
  • Chain and fast food restaurants, bars 
  • Nail salons

Businesses using trafficking victims in the workforce increase the health and safety risks to consumers because most coerced laborers are not protected by state or federal work place requirements.  They are often not able or encouraged to obtain needed training, certificates, licenses or registrations and thus are not subject to proper regulation designed to protect consumers regarding health and safety risks.  

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