Definitions of Human Trafficking - California

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Defined in Child Protection Law

Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code § 300; Penal Code § 11165.1

The legislature finds and declares that a child who is sexually trafficked, as described in § 236.1 of the Penal Code, or who receives food or shelter in exchange for or who is paid to perform, sexual acts, and whose parent or guardian failed to or was unable to protect the child is within the description of this subdivision, and that these children shall be known as commercially sexually exploited children.

The term 'sexual abuse' includes sexual exploitation, which refers to any of the following:

  • Depicting a minor engaged in obscene acts; preparing, selling, or distributing obscene matter that depicts minors; employing a minor to perform obscene acts
  • Knowingly permitting or encouraging a child to engage in, or assisting others to engage in, prostitution or a live performance involving obscene sexual conduct, or to either pose or model alone or with others for purposes of preparing a film, photograph, negative, slide, drawing, painting, or other pictorial depiction involving obscene sexual conduct
  • Depicting a child in, or knowingly developing, duplicating, printing, or exchanging, any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide in which a child is engaged in an act of obscene sexual conduct

Definitions of Labor Trafficking

Citation: Penal Code §§ 236.1; 236.2

A person who deprives or violates the personal liberty of another with the intent to obtain forced labor or services is guilty of human trafficking. A person who deprives or violates the personal liberty of another with the intent to commit procurement, pimping, pandering, procurement of a child, abduction of a child for prostitution, sexual exploitation of a child, child pornography, or extortion is guilty of human trafficking.

The term 'coercion' includes 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; the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process; debt bondage; or providing and facilitating the possession of a controlled substance to a person with the intent to impair the person's judgment.

'Deprivation or violation of the personal liberty of another' includes substantial and sustained restriction of another's liberty accomplished through force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person under circumstances where the person receiving or apprehending the threat reasonably believes that it is likely that the person making the threat would carry it out.

The term 'duress' includes a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, hardship, or retribution sufficient to cause a reasonable person to acquiesce in or perform an act that he or she would otherwise not have submitted to or performed; a direct or implied threat to destroy, conceal, remove, confiscate, or possess an actual or purported passport or immigration document of the victim; or knowingly destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, or possessing an actual or purported passport or immigration document of the victim.

'Forced labor or services' means labor or services that are performed or provided by a person and are obtained or maintained through force, fraud, duress, or coercion, or equivalent conduct that would reasonably overbear the will of the person.

The term 'serious harm' includes any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational harm, that is sufficiently serious, under all the surrounding circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same background and in the same circumstances to perform or to continue performing labor, services, or commercial sexual acts in order to avoid incurring that harm.

Law enforcement agencies shall use due diligence to identify all victims of human trafficking, regardless of the citizenship of the person. When a peace officer comes into contact with a person who has been deprived of his or her personal liberty, a minor who has engaged in a commercial sex act, a person suspected of violating § 647(a) or (b), or a victim of a crime of domestic violence or sexual assault, the peace officer shall consider whether the following indicators of human trafficking are present:

  • There are signs of trauma, fatigue, injury, or other evidence of poor care.
  • The person is withdrawn, afraid to talk, or his or her communication is censored by another person.
  • The person does not have freedom of movement.
  • The person lives and works in one place.
  • The person owes a debt to his or her employer.
  • Security measures are used to control who has contact with the person.
  • The person does not have control over his or her own government-issued identification or over his or her worker immigration documents.

Definitions of Sex Trafficking of Minors

Citation: Penal Code § 236.1

A person who causes, induces, or persuades, or attempts to cause, induce, or persuade, a person who is a minor at the time of commission of the offense to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to commit any of the offenses listed above is guilty of human trafficking.

In determining whether a minor was caused, induced, or persuaded to engage in a commercial sex act, the totality of the circumstances, including the age of the victim, his or her relationship to the trafficker or agents of the trafficker, and any handicap or disability of the victim, shall be considered. Consent by a victim of human trafficking who is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense is not a defense to a criminal prosecution under this section. Mistake of fact as to the age of a victim of human trafficking who is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense is not a defense to a criminal prosecution under this section.

The term 'commercial sex act' means sexual conduct on account of which anything of value is given or received by any person.