Overview of Human Trafficking

The term "human trafficking" is used in common parlance to describe many forms of exploitation of human beings. Human trafficking crimes focus on the act of compelling or coercing a person's labor, services, or commercial sex acts; or using children under the age of 18 for commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, but it must be used to coerce a victim into performing labor, services, or commercial sex acts. The laws against trafficking are rooted in the prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude guaranteed by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The victims include some of the most vulnerable in society: abused children who’ve run away from home, women with few job skills, immigrants who fear deportation or retaliation against their families overseas if they speak up. For them, there is little hope of escape.

Sexual Servitude

Sex trafficking is the use of force, coercion or deception to recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain, another person for the purpose of commercial sexual activities.

If the victim is a minor under age 18, force, coercion and deception not required in cases of sex trafficking. Human trafficking, in the case of a minor is recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, or maintaining, another person for the purpose of commercial sexual activities.

Labor Servitude

Labor trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, obtain or employ a person for labor or services in involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery. Force, fraud or coercion must be present in case of labor trafficking involving a minor.