A judge for the US District Court for the District of Hawaii [official website] on Friday dismissed human trafficking charges against six executives and other business associates. The charges relate to a 2010 indictment that alleged the defendants enticed approximately 600 Thai nationals to come to the US by falsely promising them job opportunities and then forcing them to work at farms in Washington and Hawaii by threatening economic harm and deportation. The case was dismissed [AP report] after it was found that prosecutors would not be able to prove the allegations. This was the US government's largest human trafficking case.
The charges were originally brought in 2010 [JURIST report] as a result of a grand jury investigation. In June, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) [official website] reported that human trafficking is a growing problem in Europe [JURIST report]. Earlier in June, the UNODC issued a report on the globalization of organized crime, which addressed, among other things, the global economic impact of human trafficking [JURIST report]. Also in June, the US State Department [official website] issued its annual report on human trafficking conditions [JURIST report] across the globe, which found the US "has a serious problem with human trafficking, both for labor and commercial sexual exploitation."