The PITF agencies should both ensure and enforce labor protections for “excluded” workforces- like farmworkers, direct care workers, domestic workers, day laborers, tipped workers, taxi drivers, etc. in order to address vulnerabilities to abuse and human trafficking, and should publicly recognize the concept of a “continuum of exploitation.”
For example, the US government has yet to finalize the rule that narrows the definition for the “companionship exemption,” leaving workers who care for seniors and people with disabilities without entitlement to minimum wage and overtime protections. It is no coincidence that these jobs are largely filled by low-wage immigrant workers. We believe that stronger labor protections, and recognition of the importance of these jobs, will lead to increased identification of trafficking and exploitation, because the public, and the workers themselves, will understand not only their rights and how to exercise them, but also where to turn for help when they witness or experience severe exploitation and human trafficking.