Immigrants Prone to Human Trafficking, Other Forms of Exploitation in Minnesota- Report
A report of the Advocates for Human Rights has revealed that immigrants are susceptible to human trafficking and other forms of exploitation such as physical and sexual assault in the state of Minnesota. The report, entitled Moving from Exclusion to Belonging: Immigrant Rights in Minnesota Today was released today at the State Capitol in St. Paul.
Despite the fact that immigrants and refugees are optimistic about economic opportunities in the state, the report showed that service providers and advocates reports revealed a “sobering situation” [where] “some immigrant workers face exploitation by employers who prey on fear of deportation or job loss.” In addition, “serious workplace abuses including wage and hour violations and wage theft, lack of training and access to safety equipment, physical and sexual assault, false imprisonment, and human trafficking were reported in a variety of industries.”
Furthermore, immigrants and refugees experience barriers in employment opportunity where, for example, their foreign credentials were not recognized by employers, “lack of employment authorization or limited access to education and technology,” among others.
The report also noted the fact that the fear of deportation has remained a barrier to seeking safety by immigrant and refugee women who are being abused. Meanwhile, “thousands of undocumented Minnesotans and their families live excluded from the community and in constant fear of deportation, leaving them vulnerable to human rights violations and abuses in Minnesota.”
Other areas immigrants and refugees have been discriminated against as documented by the report include access to justice, education, housing, basic need, civic engagement, and immigration. While the report provided recommendations to the issues raised, it encouraged a public policy that guarantee fundamental human rights that allow immigrants and refugees who live in Minnesota to live in dignity regardless of their place of birth.
The report was put together from the result of over 200 interviews and 25 community conversations that took place over a period of two years. The project was funded by the Blendin Foundation, The Minneapolis Foundation, and the Andrus Family Fund.
The advocates for Human Rights is a Minnesota based non-profit organization that documents human rights abuses, advocates on behalf of individual victims, provides free legal representation to people seeking asylum, works to prevent violence against women and girls, spearheads public policy and legal change, educates about human rights issues, and provides training and technical assistance to address and prevent human rights violations.