Definitions of Human Trafficking - Pennsylvania

Date: July 2020

Defined in Child Protection Law

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6303

The term 'child abuse' means intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engaging a child in a severe form of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. § 7102).

The term 'sexual abuse or exploitation' means any of the following:

  • The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Looking at the sexual or other intimate parts of a child or another individual for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire in any individual
    • Participating in sexually explicit conversation either in person, by telephone, by computer, or by a computer-aided device for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any individual
    • Actual or simulated sexual activity or nudity for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any individual
    • Actual or simulated sexual activity for the purpose of producing visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting, or filming
  • Any of the following offenses committed against a child:
    • Rape or statutory sexual assault
    • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
    • Sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, or indecent assault
    • Indecent exposure
    • Incest
    • Prostitution
    • Sexual abuse of children
    • Unlawful contact with a minor
    • Sexual exploitation of children

Definitions of Labor Trafficking

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 18, §§ 3001; 3011; 3012

The term 'human trafficking' means any activity in violation of § 3011 (relating to trafficking in individuals) either alone or in conjunction with an activity in violation of § 3012 (relating to involuntary servitude). The term 'involuntary servitude' includes labor servitude or sexual servitude. The term 'labor servitude' refers to labor that is performed or provided by another individual and is induced or obtained by any of the means set forth in § 3012(b) (relating to involuntary servitude).

The term 'debt coercion' means the exploitation of the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of the personal services of the debtor or an individual under the debtor's control as a security or payment for debt, if any of the following apply:

  • The value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt.
  • The length and nature of those services are not limited and defined.
  • The principal amount of the debt does not reasonably reflect the value of the items or services for which the debt was incurred.
  • The debtor is coerced to perform sex acts as payment for the debt.
  • The creditor controls and determines the movement, housing, and services performed by the debtor until repayment of the debt.

A 'minor' is an individual who is younger than age 18.

The term 'serious harm' means any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, that is sufficiently serious, under all the surrounding circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same background and in the same circumstances as the victim of human trafficking to perform or to continue performing labor or a service, a commercial sex act, or a performance involving sex acts in order to avoid incurring that harm.

A person commits the felony of 'trafficking in individuals' in the second degree if the person does the following:

  • Recruits, entices, solicits, advertises, harbors, transports, provides, obtains, or maintains an individual if the person knows or recklessly disregards that the individual will be subject to labor servitude
  • Knowingly benefits financially or receives anything of value from any act that facilitates any activity described above

A person commits the felony of 'involuntary servitude' in the first degree if the person knowingly subjects an individual to labor servitude or sexual servitude, except when the conduct is permissible under a Federal or State law other than this chapter. A person may subject an individual to involuntary servitude through any of the following means:

  • Causing or threatening to cause serious harm to any individual
  • Physically restraining or threatening to physically restrain another individual
  • Kidnapping or attempting to kidnap any individual
  • Abusing or threatening to abuse the legal process
  • Taking or retaining the individual's personal property or real property as a means of coercion
  • Engaging in unlawful conduct with respect to documents, as defined in § 3014
  • Extortion, fraud, or criminal coercion
  • Duress through using or threatening to use unlawful force against the person or another
  • Debt coercion
  • Facilitating or controlling the individual's access to a controlled substance
  • Using any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the individual to believe that, if the individual does not perform the labor, services, acts, or performances, that individual or another individual will suffer serious harm or physical restraint

Definitions of Sex Trafficking of Minors

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 18, §§ 3001; 3011

The term 'sexual servitude' means any sex act or performance involving a sex act for which anything of value is directly or indirectly given, promised to, or received by any individual or which is performed or provided by any individual, and is induced or obtained from either of the following:

  • A minor
  • Any other individual by any of the means set forth in § 3012(b) (relating to involuntary servitude)

The term 'sexually exploited child' means an individual under age 18 to whom either of the following applies:

  • Is a victim of sexual servitude
  • Is a victim of an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1591 (relating to sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion)

The term 'sex act' means any touching or exposure of the sexual or other intimate parts of any individual for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of any individual.

A person commits a felony of 'trafficking in individuals' in the first degree if the person engages in any activity listed above that results in a minor being subjected to sexual servitude.