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News and Press Releases

Forced labor spotlighted at trafficking event

The following article, written by Jim Provance, appeared January 11, 2018 in The Toledo Blade. ABLE Attorney Kathleen Kersh was quoted in the story. Read below, or view on The Blade's website.

Harold D'Souza and his family were brought from India in 2003 to the Cincinnati area by a family friend to work in his restaurant.

Upon his arrival his employer, to which Mr. D’Souza’s work visa was tied, took what money and documents he had and threatened to report him for deportation. He was saddled with debt, worked 14 to 16-hour days at the restaurant without pay, had no money or food of his own, and lived with his family on the floor of a one-bedroom apartment.

Months later when authorities were alerted, his employer threw them out. Mr. D’Souza had never heard of human trafficking and specifically never of labor trafficking.

Today, Mr. D'Souza is co-chairman of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, and on Thursday he participated in the Ohio Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Statehouse. With help, his family has gotten visas allowing them to stay and work in the United States.