Human Traffic Watch

Victim’s Stories

In Awareness, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Involuntary Domestic Servitude on January 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

Jamaica-United States
A recruiter in Jamaica promised Sheldon a visa through the U.S. federal H-2B seasonal worker program. The processing fee was hefty, but the prospect of working in America seemed worth it. Sheldon arrived in Kansas City eager to work, but he ended up at the mercy of human traffickers. Along with other workers from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines, Sheldon cleaned rooms at some of the best-known hotels in Kansas City. The traffickers kept Sheldon in debt, constantly charging him fees for uniforms, transportation, and rent in overcrowded apartments. Often, his paychecks would show negative earnings. When Sheldon refused to work, the traffickers threatened to cancel his immigration status, and which would render him illegal in an instant. In May 2009, a federal grand jury indicted the leaders of this trafficking ring – including eight nationals of Uzbekistan – on charges related to forced labor in 14 states.

Source: US State Department

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