A new episode of PBS series Frontline has exposed human trafficking and forced labor at an Ohio egg farm.
The victims, predominantly Guatemalan minors, were told by a trafficker that a better life awaited them in the US and were brought to Trillium Farms to pay off $15,000 of imposed debt.
There, they were forced to work in poor conditions, allowed to keep only a fraction of their pay checks, and met with death threats in the event of protest.
They were given such little freedom that one teen was at Trillium for four months before he managed to call his uncle in Florida for help.
In response to his nephew's pleas, fear, and desperation - the uncle contacted the Collier City Sheriff's office.
Two months later, federal and local authorities raided the trailer park where the workers were held, uncovering at least 10 victims of human trafficking.
Senator Robert Portman - who was Chairman of the investigatory committee - said what authorities uncovered during the investigation that followed was 'flat out wrong'.
He explained that the Department of Health and Human Services ‘was actually responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of the abusers’.
The government agency reportedly willfully left victims with human traffickers - or, in Portman's words, threw 'them to the wolves'.
Speaking with Frontline, he said: "I don't care what you think about immigration policy.
During the investigation, 'at least a dozen' connected cases were discovered, apart from those exposed at Trillium Farms.
According to Garance Burke of Associated Press, upwards of 180,000 unaccompanied minors are living in the US in conditions unknown - due to lack of governmental 'follow up'.
Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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