A sixteen-year-old boy is shaken awake by the defendant who yells at him, go take care of the dogs. He shuffles to the kennel attached to the Barrett’s house where the deafening sound of over a hundred puppies and the overwhelming smell of urine and feces greet him. He is so used to this that he doesn’t even notice. It’s the start of the morning routine for the children who live with Jeffrey and Barbara Barrett. They will work four to eight hours every day, without any school, holidays, birthdays, or vacations for almost five years, until they are finally found. They will be emotionally, physically, and psychologically abused and tormented as the Barretts attempt to break these children into nothing more than slave labor. The first part of this case study will discuss the horrible situation, how the children were found, and the investigation that led to charges of human trafficking against the legal guardians. The second part will examine the two trials that ensued and the legal issues involved in prosecuting familial human trafficking.
Recognize the misidentification of labor trafficking as child abuse.
Identify challenges in investigating familial labor trafficking.