Lotería Game Pieces

An educational tool to help combat human trafficking

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The McCain Institute’s Combatting Human Trafficking program addresses labor trafficking in agriculture throughout Texas. They use multiple approaches and tools to reach those most vulnerable, like this lotería game used to educate agricultural workers about their labor rights and the red flags of labor trafficking.

To play lotería, a traditional Mexican bingo game, cards are pulled from the deck; if a player has a corresponding space on their game board, they mark the space. The Institute created their own game boards and cards, with each image introducing an important term related to labor trafficking and its prevention, like the rights guaranteed under U.S. labor laws, what labor trafficking can look like and warning signs to look for, and what happens when labor trafficking is reported to the authorities.  

Labor laws in the U.S. guarantee all workers, regardless of citizenship, have the right to:

  • be paid at least minimum wage
  • a safe workplace
  • not be held in a job against their will
  • report abuse without retaliation
  • leave an abusive employment situation
  • get help from unions and other labor rights groups

If someone is an undocumented worker or their documentation has expired, they still have the right to report their employer for labor trafficking. A specific type of visa, a T-visa, was created for trafficked immigrants and allows them to stay in the country. But labor trafficking is just as likely to affect documented immigrants. Traffickers use force, fraud, and/or coercion to maintain control over someone, which can include hiding or destroying a person’s identifying documents like their work visa or passport. It is also common for traffickers to use their business network to blacklist workers who report them for trafficking, making it incredibly difficult for those workers to ever get a work visa again.

If you need help or suspect human trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. You can also text "Help" or "Info" to 233733 or email Report@PolarisProject.org.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Lotería Game Pieces Artifact from McAllen, TX
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