Common Industries Targeted by Human Traffickers

January 23, 2021 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Common Industries Targeted by Human Traffickers

What Industries Have Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a criminal enterprise that has permeated through a number of Florida industries and caused widespread suffering among those held in captivity. Human trafficking is modern slavery and affects not just those at the fringes of society or lower class but can claim the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be assaulted and caught by human traffickers.  There is no way to know for sure exactly how many people in the United States are victims of human trafficking but it is estimated that there at the very least millions that suffer under this form of modern slavery. Florida is known as one of the top states when it comes to human trafficking. This is mostly due to the industries here in Florida that create a demand for trafficked slaves. 

Florida Industries That Contribute to Human Trafficking

Human trafficking can be defined as the recruitment, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining, by any means, a person for labor or services involving forced labor, slavery, or servitude in any industry. When it comes to Florida, these industries are often booming thanks to conditions unique in our state. In order to understand the full scope of human trafficking in Florida, one needs to see that human trafficking is not limited to sex trafficking of foreigners across our borders into seedy clubs but that it instead permeates industries from child care to farming. 

Florida Agriculture and Human Trafficking

Florida is an agricultural powerhouse when is it comes to certain produce products that require the sunny and hot climate our state affords. Vegetables and fruits like peppers and tomatoes grow very well in Florida and find their way from the fields to mouths across our country. What many people eating that product may not realize is that it may have been picked and packaged by a victim of human trafficking.  Slavery is still alive in the state of Florida and while it is not as out in the open as it once was, this practice still exists in a much more discreet way. Recently, the level of human trafficking in the Florida agriculture industry has decreased thanks to the push for fairer labor practices as well as produce distributors embracing “fair food” policies to ensure consumers their products are ethically sourced. While this has led to improvement, trafficking still exists in the Florida agriculture industry all the same.

Florida Migrant Workers and Human Trafficking 

Florida fields were once especially horrible examples of modern slavery and trafficking. Migrant workers would have to endure horrible working conditions where they would toil in the fields for over 10 hours with no breaks in dangerously high heat only to not get paid at all or receive little to nothing. Workers would also be at risk to suffer physical as well as sexual abuse at the hands of those that trafficked them. The vast majority of those trafficked in the Florida agriculture industry are migrant workers that entered the country illegally. This is often used as leverage by traffickers that threaten to report them to the authorities.

Hospitality and Human Trafficking

Another industry that has been found to have many ties to human trafficking is the hospitality industry. Florida sees a vast number of tourists each year and so the demand for workers to handle things such as cleaning, cooking, and housekeeping is very high.  Many people are coerced and forced into situations where they have to do this work or suffer negative consequences at the hands of human traffickers. They may have their status as an illegal immigrant held over them, the safety of their families, or they may be threatened with physical or sexual abuse themselves. 

Hospitality Businesses That are Connected to Human Trafficking

Businesses such as hotels, motels, resorts, spas, and restaurants are regularly connected to human trafficking. Employees may actually be captives of human trafficking that have been forced to labor for these businesses under threats from their traffickers. Hospitality can also extend to domestic care where human trafficking can also exist. Some people are trafficked into households that use the as modern slaves to perform domestic servitude in the form of housekeeping, groundskeeping, child keeping, caregiving

Sex Trafficking in Florida

The most notorious industry human trafficking is connected to is the sex and adult entertainment industry. The threat of sexual assault and rape is commonplace in all human trafficking regardless of the industry but there are many people trafficked specifically with sexual service in mind. Hotels, brothels, and private residences are very common sites for sex trafficking operations. Other more seemingly innocent businesses may also be commonly used as fronts for sex trafficking like clubs, bars, salons, etc.  Florida is the third-largest contributor when it comes to statewide sex trafficking. Often, the victims of this crime are children in their early teens that can sometimes be trafficked into adulthood. Sex trafficking does rely on bringing people from out of the country but a large portion of human trafficking victims are American citizens of all walks of life. 

Florida Human Trafficking Lawsuit Attorneys

If you or a loved one are a survivor of human trafficking and believe that certain parties are liable for the damages that you suffered during your ordeal because of negligent actions then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. Our attorneys are ready to provide a free consultation to hear the details of your case and provide information on what legal options are available to you. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has been serving the people of Florida case by case for years and ensuring that our clients not only get compensation for the damages that they unjustly suffered but have their case fought for by attorneys that are invested in its success. Dolman Law provides experienced legal representation with the resources one would expect from a large firm while also ensuring your case is handled in a sensitive and professional manner by attorneys that will remain in contact with you every step of the way.  To set up a consultation with Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA you can either call our office at (727) 451-6900 or fill out a contact form online Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More