2005 Archive

New Report on Forced Labor in California

The Human Rights Center (HRC) at the University of California, Berkeley, on February 24 released a new report on hidden slavery in California. Boalt Hall Professor Laurel Fletcher, a co-author of the report, testified about its findings on February 25 in Los Angeles before the Assembly Select Committee on Human Trafficking. The report, Freedom Denied: Forced Labor in California, follows an influential national study, Hidden Slaves, which the HRC released on the issue in Washington, D.C. last fall. Fletcher, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at Boalt, was a co-author of Hidden Slaves. The new report examines the nature and scope of the problem throughout California, finding that 80 percent of incidents occur in three major metropolitan areas-the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. Fletcher discussed recommendations from Freedom Denied that ask legislators to enact new criminal laws against forced labor, train law enforcement officers to recognize such situations and increase critical support services to forced labor victims. 2/24/2005