It is Illegal for Someone to Force you to Work or Have Sex

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Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid


-Has anyone ever made you work when you couldn’t or charged you a fee for finding a job?  

-Has your supervisor ever told you that you couldn’t leave or kept important documents (birth certificate, passport, visa, ID, etc.) from you?  

-Have you been forced to work long hours without breaks or told that you can’t talk about your job?  

-Has someone threatened to hurt you or call the authorities (police, immigration, etc.) to get you to work? 

-Have you been told that you aren’t allowed to talk with people in the community or not allowed to see the doctor when you were injured? 

-Have you ever been forced or pressured to have sex or engage in other sexual acts against your will? 

If you have experienced any of these situations, you may be a victim of labor or sex trafficking. Trafficking can occur when someone is forced to work or engage in sex against their will through force, fraud, or coercion.  Farmworkers are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and forced labor due to their isolation, low wages, hazardous conditions, and fear of retaliation from their employer.  

If you are the victim of trafficking, you may be eligible for lawful immigrant status and other benefits. 

For assistance or to report concerns about potential labor or sex trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to 233733.  You can also contact Iowa Legal Aid for assistance at 1-800-532-1275 

Last Review and Update: Oct 25, 2022
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