HUMAN TRAFFICKING 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 that includes prevention, protection, and prosecution. The TVPA was reauthorized through the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2013.
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, or obtaining 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; 8 CFR § 214.11(a)).
- 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).
22 U.S. CODE § 7101 - PURPOSES AND FINDINGS
The purposes of this chapter are to combat trafficking in
persons, a contemporary manifestation of slavery whose victims
are predominantly women and children, to ensure just and
effective punishment of traffickers, and to protect their
Gov. Rick Perry signed two bills creating stiffer penalties for
individuals who commit human trafficking in Texas, House Bill
3000 and Senate Bill 24.
House Bill (HB) 3000 creates a new first-degree felony in the
Penal Code called Continuous Trafficking of Persons, which
applies to individuals who commit two or more acts of human
trafficking in a period of 30 days or more. Under HB 3000, the
punishment range for a first time offender is 25-99 years or
life imprisonment, and a fine up to $10,000. If convicted a
second time, the offense carries a punishment of life without
parole. HB 3000 also adds Continuous Trafficking of Persons to
the list of offenses that do not have a limitation period for
filing charges, alters parole consideration and requires a vote
of two-thirds of the members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles
before release, and further limits bail and bond considerations
for a person charged with Continuous Trafficking of Persons.
The Senate Bill 24 and House Bill 3000 will allow for a more
comprehensive response to the devastating crime of human
trafficking, an approach that will ultimately save lives.
Senate Bill 24 contains proposals from the Attorney General’s
Task Force on Human Trafficking, including creating a new
offense for compelling prostitution for adult and child victims,
stronger parole requirements for trafficking offenses that
require offenders to serve longer prison time, eliminating
release on mandatory supervision, and stronger restrictions on
bond release. The bill also designates two prosecutable forms of
human trafficking – forced labor and forced sexual acts – and
applies the first degree felony punishment of 5-99 years or life
and a fine up to $10,000 if a child is the victim of either form
Texas Penal Code - Section 20A.02. Trafficking Of Persons
§ 20A.02. TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly
traffics another person with the intent that the trafficked
person engage in:
(1) forced labor or services; or
(2) conduct that constitutes an offense under Chapter 43.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, an
offense under this section is a felony of the second degree. An
offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if:
(1) the offense is committed under Subsection (a)(2)
and the person who is trafficked is younger than 14 years of
the time of the offense; or
(2) the commission of the offense results in the death
of the person who is trafficked.
(c) If conduct constituting an offense under this section
also constitutes an offense under another section of this code,
the actor may be prosecuted under either section or under both
If you suspect
someone is a human trafficking victim please contact the National Human
Trafficking Resource Center
at 1-888-373-7888 or 9-1-1