Freedom Network USA

Martin was 15 years old when he, his mother, and his younger siblings were brought to the US by a relative after his father died. He was told by his relatives that he would have to work off the large debt that had been incurred to bring his family to the US, instead of being allowed to go to school. Martin‘s “debt” grew continuously as he was charged for housing, food and transportation. Martin was forced to work in agriculture during the “season,” and in construction or landscaping during the off-season. Any time Martin or the other workers spoke up, his trafficker would just threaten to call the police and have the men deported. Martin was sexually harassed by the traffickers, and rumors were falsely spread that he was working as a male prostitute. Finally, Martin decided he had had enough. He called the number of a local farmworker organization which had visited their camp. Martin and some of the other workers met with law enforcement to report their trafficking, and testified during the federal prosecution of their traffickers.

*These are not actual photos of the survivors depicted in the story. In order to protect their confidentiality, alternate images and names have been applied.