Labor trafficking

When employers force someone to work using threats, harm or restraint.

If you believe you are a victim of trafficking or to file a report, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at (888) 373-7888 or call the Attorney General’s Fair Labor hotline at (617) 727-3465.

What is labor trafficking?

Labor trafficking happens when someone uses threats, harm (including financial harm), to force someone to perform work.  This is also called forced services and it is a crime in Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ law is very broad. Anyone who forces another person to work in this way, or benefits as a result of the work, could face imprisonment and fines. Businesses that commit labor trafficking can be fined up to one million dollars.

View a 5-minute video for an overview of labor trafficking and making referrals to law enforcement:
What is Labor Trafficking?
¿Qué es la trata laboral?
O que é tráfico de mão de obra?


Learn to Recognize the Signs of Labor Trafficking

(Learn to Recognize the Signs of Labor Trafficking - Portuguese)

Sepa Cómo Reconocer los Rasgosde la Trata Laboral
(Learn to Recognize the Signs of Labor Trafficking - Spanish)

Who is at risk?

Trafficking happens in many industries. People who work in isolated places are more at risk. Domestic workers and farm workers are especially vulnerable to labor trafficking.

Many victims of labor trafficking are immigrants. Traffickers may threaten deportation in order to force victims to work. They may also exploit language barriers and a victim's social isolation.

The following report provides information about types of human trafficking:

The Typology of Modern Slavery: Defining Sex and Labor Trafficking in the United States

The report identifies 25 types of human trafficking in the United States and describes different business models, trafficker profiles, recruitment strategies, victim profiles.

Immigration Relief for workers

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General (AGO) enforces labor laws to promote economic justice and ensure workplace rights throughout the state. Effective investigation of complaints and enforcement of workers’ rights depends on the cooperation of all workers regardless of immigration status. AGO enforces workplace laws and protects workers’ rights regardless of the immigration status of the affected workers. AGO does not enforce immigration laws. AGO does not ask about a worker’s immigration status, and the AGO works to ensure that all workers in Massachusetts are protected regardless of immigration status.

Undocumented or immigrant workers may fear providing information to governmental officials because they are afraid that it will lead to deportation or arrest. To address this fear and ensure the enforcement of our laws, AGO has developed a process to support workers seeking immigration-related protection.

FAQ on AG's Role in Supporting Worker Requests for Deferred Action to Provide Protection from Immigration Related Retaliation

Preguntas frecuentes sobre el papel de AG en el apoyo a las solicitudes de acción diferida de los trabajadores para brindar protección contra las represalias relacionadas con la inmigración

Perguntas frequentes sobre o papel do AG em apoiar solicitações de trabalhadores para ação adiada para fornecer proteção contra retaliação relacionada à imigração

关于总检察长在支持工人申请延期行动以提供免受与移民相关报复的保护方面的常见问 题

Kesyon yo Poze Souvan sou wòl AG pou sipòte demann travayè yo pou aksyon ki difere pou bay pwoteksyon kont reyaksyon ki gen rapò ak imigrasyon

MA Attorney General's Advisory on the Rights of Immigrant Workers

Multilingual Workplace Resources 

US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division: U and T Visa Certifications

What can businesses do?

Resources for Businesses

Share this video with your employees to help raise awareness:
What is Labor Trafficking?
¿Qué es la trata laboral?
O que é tráfico de mão de obra?

U.S. Department of Labor
Comply Chain

An app for companies and industry groups to assist in developing robust social compliance systems including:

  • engaging stakeholders and partners,
  • assessing risks and impacts,
  • developing a code of conduct,
  • communicating and training across the supply chain,
  • monitoring compliance,
  • remediating violations,
  • independent review and
  • reporting performance

Reducing child labor and forced labor: a toolkit for responsible businesses
US DOL list of goods produced by child labor or forced labor

International Labour Organization
Preventing and responding to abusive and fraudulent labour recruitment: A call for action

Institute for Human Rights and Business
Responsible Recruitment: Remediating Worker-Paid Recruitment Fees

American Sustainable Business Council
Principles of High Road Employers: A Path to Building a Sustainable Economy

Fair Hiring Toolkit

Walk Free Foundation
Tackling Modern Slavery in Supply Chains

What can local government do?

Links to help local government put in place or enhance policies and practices that stop labor trafficking.

Share this video with your employees to help raise awareness:

What is Labor Trafficking?
¿Qué es la trata laboral?
O que é tráfico de mão de obra?


Utilize the MA Attorney General's Office Human Trafficking Awareness Month Digital Toolkit

Use the RESULT App to Recognize and Evaluate Signs to Uncover Labor Trafficking

Created by Boston University and the Office of the Attorney General, this web-based app is designed to be a resource for inspectors, compliance officers, first responders, investigators and law enforcement to provide users with information about victim resources and how to report a suspected case of forced services to law enforcement.  The app offers an assessment tool to assist users in identifying a potential case of labor trafficking--a crime that often goes undetected and unreported.

Access the app at:

We recommend that users bookmark the page and add it to their home screens on a mobile device for ready-access to the app.  It can also be accessed through a desktop or laptop computer (works best using Google Chrome).

To view a quick digital tutorial on navigating the app, please visit:

Human Trafficking Prevention Policy

Cities and towns can take an affirmative stance against forced labor in their regular business operations.

View the Attorney General's Office Human Trafficking Prevention Policy which sets out standards of conduct for employees.

Vendor Notice and Acknowledgement

Think about adding a contractor acknowledgement to your standard contracts that articulates your commitment to buying only lawfully produced and sourced goods and services.

Below is a standard contract term required by anyone contracting with the Office of the Attorney General:

The AGO is committed to doing its part to eradicate human trafficking and forced labor in the Commonwealth. By checking this box, the Contractor acknowledges that the Contractor understands that: (1) the AGO will insist that Contractors (including Vendors and Suppliers) with which it conducts business comply fully with all state and federal laws and regulations regarding human trafficking and forced labor, including all FAR regulations; and (2) the AGO will require assurances that all items in a supply system have been produced in accordance with the laws against human trafficking in the country in which the goods were produced.

Encourage Awareness Among Municipal Officials

View and listen to a recorded webinar offered to municipalities by the Attorney General's Fair Labor and Human Trafficking Divisions.

Labor trafficking was designated a criminal offense as "Trafficking in Forced Services" under Massachusetts law in 2012; it is a global phenomenon, and it is happening in many of our communities.  Local officials are key to identifying these crimes and bringing survivors out of the shadows.  This webinar will provide an overview of the problem and provide ways that building and health inspectors, code enforcement officers, assessors, licensing staff, human services staff, school department personnel, police, fire, and emergency management departments can help to identify and combat labor trafficking in our Commonwealth.

Recent News and Annoucements

Additional Resources

Contact   for Labor trafficking

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