"Human Trafficking" is modern-day slavery. It is the compelling of another person’s labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion. The coercion can be subtle or overt; physical or psychological. Traffickers often prey on individuals who are poor, frequently unemployed or underemployed, and who may lack access to social safety nets, predominantly women and children. Victims are often lured with false promises of good jobs and better lives, and then forced to work under brutal and inhuman conditions.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA) supplements existing laws and establishes new tools and resources to combat trafficking in persons and to provide services and protections for victims. The VTVPA defines “Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons” as:
- Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act (which means any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person,) in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years; or
• Labor Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.
Specific federal laws regarding human trafficking can be found at Title 18 United States Code Sections 1584, 1589, 1590, and 1591. Click here for additional information on these statutes. Also, sexual transportation offenses can be found at Title 18 United States Code Sections 2421, 2422(a), 2423(a), 2423(b), 2423(c), and 2324(d).
On April 21, 2006, an act relating to human trafficking and related offenses, including the provision of law enforcement training and victim assistance programs, providing penalties, and providing for a study was enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa: This new section can be found in the Iowa Code, section710A. (Click link to view the Iowa Code)