More than three-quarters of U.S. workers who were forcibly bonded and forced to work in the domestic service sector for unpaid wages or in the agriculture sector for years were African American or Latino, according to a new study.
Key findings:The study by researchers at Cornell University found that African Americans and Latinos comprised 63% of workers who worked for agricultural companies in the service sector, while Asian and Native American workers made up 14% of bonded workers.
This was the first study to investigate the impact of forced labor on African American and Latino workers in the U.C. study was conducted over a three-year period between 2012 and 2014.
It found that workers were more likely to be bonded in the agricultural industry, while less likely to work for the service industry.
The study found that more than one in four bonded workers in this industry were African Americans or Latinos, with Asian and Pacific Islanders accounting for almost two in three.
The Cornell study found there were four major forms of forced labour in the food service sector: bonded labor, involuntary servitude, involuntary confinement, and forced labor.
Bonded workers are often held in conditions that are unsafe and dangerous, and they often face the risk of violence and imprisonment.
Uniformed federal agents, police officers and other federal employees, as well as state and local government employees are among the groups who may have bonded workers, the Cornell study said.
The researchers said these workers are in an industry that has been identified by federal agencies as having the highest rate of forced workforce in the country.
They also found that they face significant racial disparities in wages, hours and treatment.
“They may be the lowest paid workers in America, but they are still forced to make more than $10 per hour to live on,” the study’s authors, Elizabeth A. Sacks, an associate professor in Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences and David M. Fincher, a professor in the Cornell College of Agriculture, concluded.
The findings from the Cornell-led study suggest that there are two main types of bonded labor.
The first is involuntary servience, in which bonded workers are held in circumstances that are dangerous and unsafe.
This form of forced work, in contrast to bonded labor in which workers are coerced into working for someone else, is rare in the United States, according a statement from the study.
The second form of bonded labour is involuntary confinement.
This type of work is defined by the Department of Labor as the most serious form of labor trafficking.
This is when workers are forced to live in conditions where they are not allowed to express their human rights or are subjected to violence, the study said, adding that most workers who are forced into bonded labor are Asian and Latino.
This research is one of the first studies to identify this form of involuntary labor, which is also called bonded labor or involuntary confinement because it is held in an unsafe and cruel way.
The government is working to combat forced labor, the authors said.
“The U.N. human rights committee has called forced labor ‘the most serious human rights violation in the world today’ and the UN’s Special Rapporteur on forced labor has highlighted the dangers of forced domestic service workers in her reports on slavery, forced child labor and forced child marriage,” they said.