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Labor Trafficking in the Agricultural Industry

Human trafficking is the exploitation of people for profit, often referred to as “modern-day slavery.” Labor trafficking involves transporting victims against their will, using coercion, threat, or fraud, to perform labor services. Victims of labor trafficking in the agricultural industry are transported and sold repeatedly as migratory farmworkers. Farm owners in the business of trafficking utilize subtle and overt means to force or coerce them into labor. They target desperate people, often foreign nationals or undocumented immigrants, and recruit them with the promise of economic opportunity. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, those targeted often seek an escape from poverty, lack of employment, natural disasters, conflict, or persecution within their home country.

The United States agricultural workforce is high-risk for labor trafficking. Florida has a vast population of migrant workers lacking the authorization to work legally in our country. The Florida Department of Health reports approximately 150,000 to 200,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families annually in this state. The farming industry in Florida has ideal conditions for cultivating crops, which creates an immense demand for workers. Migrant workers are exploited for their labor, usually as payment to their trafficker, who aided them in gaining entry into this country. (known as Bonded Labor.) They live in fear of deportation and violence and generally reside in deplorable conditions.

Work-Related Illnesses and Injuries

Migrant workers are high-risk for occupational health hazards with limited access to health care. They suffer mortality and morbidity rates much higher than the general population. Working long hours in all types of weather, they often suffer from heat exhaustion and dehydration from prolonged environmental exposure. Strains, sprains, lacerations, falls, infectious diseases, and significant trauma are some of the perils they endure. They often are not provided with basic human needs, such as clean drinking water. In addition, migrant workers commonly suffer from repeated physical and psychological trauma from violence and sexual abuse.

Labor traffickers often do not provide safety education or personal protective equipment for workers. Therefore, chemical exposure and other injuries can happen to trafficked laborers in the agricultural industry. Toxicity from agricultural chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides can result in long and short-term illness. Chemical toxicity may cause liver damage, reproductive disorders, nerve damage, cancers, congenital disabilities, respiratory illnesses, dermatologic conditions, and more.

Your Immigration Status does not Affect the Right to Pursue a Claim for Damages that Occurred through Someone’s Negligence or Malicious Act

The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is prepared to pursue compensation for personal injuries aggressively. If you have suffered harm as a migrant farmworker, or you were forced to work against your will, you may be entitled to compensation. We are a nationwide complex litigation law firm that strongly advocates for protecting human rights and dignity. Attorney Michael Brady Lynch is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic trial attorneys in the country. We are passionate about justice for these horrendous crimes and winning compensation for the victims’ physical and emotional pain.

We believe in justice for those harmed by labor trafficking and the purposeful or negligent acts of others. Call us for a no-obligation consultation at our Florida office at 888-585-5970. Our consultations are completely confidential. Let us help you today.

 

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