State and Federal Laws

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons (TIP), is a modern-day form of slavery.  It is a crime under federal and international law; it is also a crime in almost every state in the U.S.


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).

Click here to access an information packet including a summary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013

Click here for more information about state and federal anti-trafficking laws.

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Client Quotes

"Thanks to Polaris Project, I have a job, a home, and many friends that help me when I need it. I am making a life of my own."

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- Survivor of Labor Trafficking & Client of Polaris