Significance of Trafficking Victims Protection Act

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Human Trafficking is one of the widely spreading pandemics in today’s world. While the United States have been on the list of top countries in the world, it is unfortunate that this country also suffers from the plague like Human trafficking. Although, U.S.

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generally serves as a destination country, it doesn’t make the issue any simpler. The Department of State rates the country as Tier 1 on the tier system which means that the country is enforcing suitable laws against human trafficking. This paper reviews the current situation pertaining to human trafficking in the United States and the legislations which are being implemented to reduce the severity of it.

Keywords: human trafficking, slavery, sex-trafficking, prostitution, labor trafficking, trafficking victims protection act (TVPA)


One of the greatest human rights violation in today’s world is human trafficking and it has been growing on an alarming rates. Human trafficking represents one of the greatest violations of human rights today. Every year, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders, 80% of them are females and about half of them are children (Trafficking in Persons Report,2004). This epidemic is so complicated since it has various flows around not just neighboring or within countries but across different continents. In 2014, the amount of different trafficking flows was more than 500 (Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2016). United States is mostly a destination country and hardly an origin for trafficking. According to the annual report from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), most of the victims who are brought into North America are from East Asia, the Pacific, Central America and the Caribbean.
The Foundation of Federal human trafficking legislation is Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) 2000 which provides a ways to prosecute traffickers, combat human trafficking and protect the victims. According to the Department of Justice, trafficking in persons is defined as;

1) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sext act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
2) The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. (22U.S.C. ?§ 7102(9)). (Key Legislation, TVPA 2000)

So, we can say it’s a modern-day form of slavery. Although trafficking could be of various forms, more than 90% constitutes of labor and sex trafficking (Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2016). Human trafficking is a federal crime in the United States and this is being constantly monitored by different federal agencies. The U.S. department of state has established office to monitor and combat human trafficking and they are required to publish a Trafficking in persons report every year detailing each country’s anti-trafficking efforts and then tier-rating them according to that information.

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