The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) put out a press release saying the “new frontier” in labor trafficking will be employment discrimination laws.
In their book on slavery in the U.S., The Slave Next Door, Ron Soodalter and FTS President Kevin Bales wrote that U.S. laws don’t adequately protect major sectors of the labor force. The National Labor Relations Act, signed by President Roosevelt back in 1935 gave basic workers’ rights to virtually every worker in the U.S.—except domestic and agricultural workers. To this day, workers in these sectors are denied adequate protection from exploitation.
There are signs that this is changing. Last year, New York became the first U.S. state to give extensive rights to domestic workers.
From the EEOC’s press release: “Anti-employment discrimination laws—particularly those prohibiting race and national origin discrimination as well as sexual harassment—are an integral part of the national fight against human labor trafficking… Florrie Burke of Freedom Network USA, an umbrella organization of non-government organizations combating forced labor [said], “I would say that human trafficking is not only an immigration issue, it is not only a criminal issue, it is not only a moral issue or women and children’s’ issue—it is a human rights issue and needs to be regarded as such.”