Definitions of Human Trafficking - District of Columbia

Date:

Defined in Child Protection Law

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-2301

'Sexual exploitation' occurs when a parent, guardian, or other custodian allows a child to engage in prostitution or engages a child or allows a child to engage in obscene or pornographic photography, filming, or other forms of illustrating or promoting sexual conduct.

Definitions of Labor Trafficking

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 22-1831; 22-1832; 22-1833; 22-1835

The term 'abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process' means the use or threatened use of law or legal process, whether administrative, civil, or criminal, in any manner or for any purpose for which the law was not designed to exert pressure on another person to cause that person to take some action or refrain from taking some action.

The term 'coercion' means any one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Force, threats of force, physical restraint, or threats of physical restraint
  • Serious harm or threats of serious harm
  • The abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process
  • Fraud or deception
  • Any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that if that person did not perform labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint
  • Facilitating or controlling a person's access to an addictive or controlled substance or restricting a person's access to prescription medication
  • Knowingly participating in conduct with the intent to cause a person to believe that he or she is the property of a person or business and that would cause a reasonable person in that person's circumstances to believe that he or she is the property of a person or business

The term 'debt bondage' means the status or condition of a person who provides labor, services, or commercial sex acts for a real or alleged debt when:

  • The value of the labor, services, or commercial sex acts, as reasonably assessed, is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt.
  • The length and nature of the labor, services, or commercial sex acts are not respectively limited and defined.
  • The amount of the debt does not reasonably reflect the value of the items or services for which the debt was incurred.

The term 'labor' means work that has economic or financial value. The term 'services' means legal or illegal duties or work done for another, whether or not the work was compensated.

The term 'serious harm' means 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 to perform labor, services, or commercial sex acts to avoid incurring that harm.

It is unlawful for an individual or a business to knowingly use coercion to cause a person to provide labor or services or to place or keep any person in debt bondage. It is unlawful for an individual or a business to recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain by any means a person, knowing, or in reckless disregard of, the fact that:

  • Coercion will be used or is being used to cause the person to provide labor or services or to engage in a commercial sex act.
  • The person is being placed or will be placed or kept in debt bondage.

It is unlawful for an individual or business to knowingly destroy, conceal, remove, confiscate, or possess any actual or purported government identification document, including a passport or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported document, of any person to prevent or restrict, or attempt to prevent or restrict, without lawful authority, the person's liberty to move or travel in order to maintain the labor or services of that person.

Definitions of Sex Trafficking of Minors

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 22-1831; 22-1833; 22-1834

The term 'commercial sex act' means any sexual act or sexual contact on account of which or for which anything of value is given to, promised to, or received by any person. The term 'commercial sex act' includes a violation of any prostitution-related offense described in §§ 22-2701 through 22-2722.

The terms 'sexual act' and 'sexual contact' shall have the same meanings as provided in § 22-3001.

The term 'victim of trafficking' means the following:

  • A person against whom any of the following offenses were committed:
    • Forced labor under § 22-1832
    • Trafficking in labor or commercial sex acts under § 22-1833
    • Sex trafficking of children under § 22-1834
  • A person who has been subjected to an act or practice described in section 103(9) or (10) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, 22 U.S.C. § 7102.

It is unlawful for an individual or a business to recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain by any means a person, knowing, or in reckless disregard of, the fact that coercion will be used or is being used to cause the person to engage in a commercial sex act.

It is unlawful for an individual or a business to knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain by any means a person who, as a result, will be caused to engage in a commercial sex act knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the person is younger than age 18. In a prosecution under this section in which the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe the person recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, or maintained, the government need not prove that the defendant knew that the person was younger than age 18.