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THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE
 WHOSE LIVES HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY VIOLENCE
AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

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Federal Anti-Trafficking Laws

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 is the first comprehensive federal law to address trafficking in persons.

 

The law provides a three-pronged approach to trafficking: prevention; protection; and prosecution.

 

The TVPA was reauthorized through the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2003200520082013, and 2017.

Under U.S. federal law, “severe forms of trafficking in persons” includes both sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age (22 USC § 7102).  

Labor trafficking 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 purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery (22 USC § 7102).

 

Vocabulary & Definitions


Involuntary servitude:

a condition of servitude induced by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that, if the person did not enter into or continue in such condition, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process (22 U.S.C. 7102 (6)).

Debt Bondage:

the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of his or her personal services or of those of a person under his or her control as a security for debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined (22 U.S.C. 7102 (5)).

Coercion:

(A) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person;
(B) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or
(C) the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process (22 U.S.C. 7102 (3)).

Commercial Sex Act:

The term “commercial sex act” means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person (22 U.S.C. 7102 (4)).

 

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The U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) provides federal leadership in reducing violence against women, while strengthening services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault,
and stalking.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that violence is a serious public health problem.

 

Many affected by violence suffer:

  • physical

  • mental

  • and/or emotional health problems for the rest of their lives.

 

Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as "The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation."