When people think of labor trafficking, it is often in the context of agricultural work. However, there are many different industries that depend on the labor of exploited adults and children. One such industry is door-to-door sales crews. Many people at some point in their lives have opened their front door to face a child or adult trying to sell them a product such as overpriced magazine subscriptions. The majority of people will politely say no thank you and close their doors without giving it a second thought. Most people would never suspect that the salesperson at their door could be a victim of exploitation and trafficking.
Migrant Worker Exploitation
The exploitation of migrant workers is a problem in places all across the United States. One area where exploitation and abuse is extremely widespread is in the agricultural industry. In an article published in The Gaurdian, entitled “Field work’s dirty secret: agribusiness exploitation of undocumented labor”, author Sadhbh Walshe details the harsh and oftentimes illegal treatment of agricultural workers in the United States. As Walshe explains, “Most farm work in America is performed by immigrants, most of whom are undocumented and therefore exploitable”. The work performed by these immigrant workers oftentimes takes place under deplorable conditions. Walshe writes,
“When you consider what these jobs entail – hours of backbreaking work in terrible and often dangerous conditions, subsistence wages with little or no time off, and none of the protections or perks that most of us enjoy (like paid sick days, for instance) – it’s hard to see why anyone with other options would subject themselves to a life that is barely a step above slavery”.