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Human Trafficking

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Human Trafficking Defined

Human Trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations recognize and define two primary forms of human trafficking:

  • Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. (22 U.S.C. § 7102(11)(A)).
  • Forced labor is 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. (22 U.S.C. § 7102(11)(B)).

Additional legal definitions are contained in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 77 (criminal definitions) and 19 U.S.C. § 1307 (includes definition of “forced labor” for purposes of implementing the federal prohibition on importation of goods produced with forced labor).

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