Sending Office: Jayapal, Pramila
Sent By:

Briefing on the Trafficking and Severe Labor Exploitation of Domestic Workers

More than two million people across the U.S. work as domestic workers – housecleaners, nannies, and homecare providers. Domestic workers face some of the highest levels of trafficking, severe labor exploitation, harassment and assault, and wage theft of
any industry in the U.S. The highest number of human trafficking cases identified between 2007 and 2017 by the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline involved domestic workers.[1]
A third of the federal civil trafficking cases in the Human Trafficking Legal Center database involve domestic workers.[2] Although there is inadequate data, most service
providers and worker organizations agree that women, immigrants, and people of color are especially vulnerable to trafficking and severe labor exploitation.


Domestic workers who are trafficked are often trapped in individual homes in abusive conditions with little or no pay for months or years – in one case, a worker was held in captivity for 25 years.[3]
These trafficked workers face exploitative, coercive and dangerous conditions including having their passports confiscated; having their jobs contracts violated; being forced to work non-stop; and being deprived of adequate food, sleep and shelter. An even
larger group of domestic workers experience harassment at work; have their wages stolen; or are fired when they speak up about dangerous or coercive work conditions.


Congress and the federal government can play an essential role in preventing and ending the trafficking, severe labor exploitation, and abuse of domestic workers.


When: Friday, January 17th, 12-1:15pm, Longworth House Office Building 1539

What: Briefing will focus on the prevalence of trafficking, severe labor exploitation, wage theft and abuse and harassment in the domestic work industry. Speakers will explain the impacts of these abuses on workers and their families; reasons
for these high levels of abuse; and the most promising solutions to end abuse and exploitation in this industry. This is a brownbag lunch – please feel free to bring your lunch and eat during the briefing.

RSVP here:

Hosted by: Office of Pramila Jayapal

Honorary Co-Host: Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus


·         Moderator: Haeyoung Yoon, Senior Director of Immigration Policy, National Domestic Workers Alliance

·         Sameera Hafiz, Policy Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center and co-author of the report, “Human Trafficking of Domestic Workers in the United States.”

·         Domestic worker survivor

·         Martina Vanderberg, Founder and President, Human Trafficking Legal Center

·         Expert in International Trafficking of Domestic Workers, Solidarity Center

[1] Polaris and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, “Human Trafficking at Home: Labor Trafficking of Domestic Workers,”

2 Human Trafficking Legal Center, Case Database,

3 National Domestic Workers Alliance & Institute for Policy Studies, “Human Trafficking of Domestic Workers in the United States,” (2017)

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Immigration, Judiciary, Labor

Related Event Information

Event Title: Briefing on the Trafficking and Severe Labor Exploitation of Domestic Workers
Event Location: Longworth House Office Building 1539
Event Start: 1/17/2020 12:00:00 PM
Event End: 1/17/2020 1:15:00 PM

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