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date: 29 October 2020

Human Trafficking: Exploiting Laborlocked

  • Noël Busch-Armendariz, Noël Busch-ArmendarizSchool of Social Work & Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, University of Texas at Austin
  • Maura Nsonwu, Maura NsonwuDepartment of Sociology and Social Work, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
  • Laurie Cook HeffronLaurie Cook HeffronSchool of Social Work & Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, University of Texas at Austin
  •  and Neely MahapatraNeely MahapatraDivision of Social Work, University of Wyoming


Human trafficking has become a major national and international problem, and while research suggests that trafficking in human beings for the purpose of cheap labor is higher than trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, much less is understood about labor trafficking. This entry summarizes the current knowledge about labor trafficking including important definitions, describes ways in which people are exploited for labor, outlines related policies and laws, summarizes needs of survivors, and offers ways in which social workers are and can be involved in responding to this crime.


  • International and Global Issues in Social Work
  • Social Policy and Advocacy
  • Social Justice and Human Rights

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