Frequently Asked Questions About Human Trafficking

What is human trafficking?

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2017) defines human trafficking as "the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation."

Does trafficking really happen here in Georgia?

Yes, take a look at this recent case:

Operation Blooming Onion

Brutal and inhumane labor trafficking in southern Georgia.
"The country's largest-ever human trafficking and visa fraud investigation."

- U.S Attorney's Office

  • It is estimated that there are at least 100 human trafficking victims identified in this investigation in the Southern District of Georgia. A 54-count indictment in USA v. Patricio et al. resulted from a federal investigation that began in 2018 charging 24 individuals.

  • The indictment claims that the human trafficking victims dug onions with their bare hands for pennies per bucket while being threatened with a gun. The labor trafficking operation held onto their passports and documents to keep them from escaping. Victims were also subjected to debt bondage, allegedly charged unlawful fees they could not afford

  • Some victims were illegally forced to do lawn care, construction, and restaurant work and threatened others with violence or deportation. Simultaneously, many workers lived in severely cramped, inhabitable conditions with little to no food or safe water

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

Human Trafficking Resources