The crime of human trafficking, told through the eyes of victims.

These are survivor-informed lived experiences, composite narratives of real-life situations and events. Can you identify what makes James’ experience human trafficking?


Wanted to get out of debt.

An account of labor trafficking in the agriculture industry.

I moved my family to Colorado to live and work on my cousins’ farm. I thought it was generous of them to offer us jobs and a free place to stay. I had a lot of debt. Being in debt is a vulnerability a trafficker exploits.

Once we were there, things turned bad. I owed my cousins for travel expenses, food, and our living quarters. There was always more
This is debt bondage, where one works in exchange for a debt which can never be paid and keeps the person under the control of the trafficker. debt to work off.

We were working in the fields, and in the home all without pay. This is a form of fraud because James’ cousin promised him a job and then later refused to pay him. I built a fence around the 443 acre property and a 3,200 square foot barn. They threatened to withhold food Threats are a form of coercion; part of a scheme to keep James and his family in a desperate situation. and kick us out with no money.

We wouldn’t get breaks for water or to use the bathroom. We never got paid. Not paying someone when you said you would, is fraud.We grew totally dependent on my cousins.

My cousins told us if we tried to leave they would call the police. Threatening to report someone to authorities to keep them in a trafficking situation is coercion. We had no place to go, we had no other family.

We were being watched all the time,Constant monitoring is a form of force, too.We were afraid all the time.

All I want is to work off my debt and make it right for my family.

How can James get help for himself and his family?