Human Trafficking Legislation

Federal Legislation

The Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 allows for stiffer enforcement by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection  Agency of supply chains of goods made by child or forced labor.  The Act enables ICE to investigate the production of any good reported to be a product of child or forced labor and ban the goods from entry into the U.S.

The National Defense Authorization Act (2013) requires a written certification for all grants and contracts over $500,000 that no party involved will engage in or support human trafficking.  It also gives governmental agencies the ability to terminate, without penalty, any contract or grant with any organization or individual that engages in human trafficking.  

The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003, established enhanced penalties for individuals engaging in sex tourism with children, both within the United States and in other countries.

RICO was created to be a tool for the federal government to more effectively prosecute members of organized crime for racketeering offenses.  Federal human trafficking offenses are included as racketeering offenses.

The Customs and Facilitations and Trade Enforcement Act (2009) prohibits the sale of goods made through the use of coercion or goods made by victims of human trafficking.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013 (TVPRA 2013), puts into place emergency response provisions within the State Department to respond to disaster areas and crises where people are particularly susceptible to being trafficked.  It also established measures to prevent child marriage and strengthened collaboration efforts between state and local law enforcement.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA of 2008) expanded anti trafficking prevention strategies and expanded protections available with the T Visa. It also regulated that all unaccompanied alien children be screened as potential victims of human trafficking.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (TVPRA of 2005) established a pilot program for sheltering human trafficking victims who are minors and provided grant programs to assist state and local law enforcement combat trafficking. It also included provisions to combat sex tourism and regulated government contracts to ensure they are not made with individuals or organizations that promote or engage in human trafficking.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 (TVPRA of 2003) established human trafficking as a chargeable crime under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute.  It provided a civil right of action for trafficking victims to sue their traffickers. It further protected victims and their families from deportation, and required that the Attorney General report to Congress annually on the activities of the U.S. government in the fight against trafficking.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 established methods of prosecuting traffickers, preventing human trafficking, and protecting victims and survivors of trafficking. The act establishes human trafficking and related offenses as federal crimes. It established the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which is required to publish a Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report each year. The TIP report describes and ranks the efforts of countries to combat human trafficking. The act also established the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, which assists in the implementation of the TVPA.  It provides for restitution for victims and immigration relief through the T Visa.

Executive Orders

The Executive Order on Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts orders the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulations to prohibit Federal contractors and subcontractors in solicitations, contracts, and subcontracts for supplies or services from engaging in any trafficking activities such as employee recruitment fees or withholding of identification documents.  Additionally, it orders that the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy shall provide guidance to agencies on developing appropriate internal procedures and controls for awarding and administering Federal contracts to improve monitoring of and compliance with actions to prevent trafficking in persons.

Uniform Law Commission

The Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking (2013), drafted by the National Conference of Commissions on Uniform State Laws, provides a comprehensive model law against human trafficking to help ensure effective action by the fifty states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The model law was approved by the American Bar Association House of Delegates at the annual meeting in 2013.