Definitions of Human Trafficking - Virgin Islands

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Defined in Child Protection Law

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 5, § 2502

The term 'abuse' includes the sexual abuse of a child, as defined by law, or the sexual exploitation of a child, including the prostituting of a child, and the photographing or other depiction of a child for pornographic purposes, or a persistent course of sexual conduct that causes a child's health or welfare to be harmed or threatened.

Definitions of Labor Trafficking

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 14, §§ 132; 133; 134

The term 'coercion' means the following:

  • The use or threat of force against, abduction of, serious harm to, or physical restraint of, an individual
  • The use of a plan, pattern, or statement with intent to cause an individual to believe that failure to perform an act will result in the use of force against, abduction of, serious harm to, or physical restraint of, an individual
  • The abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process
  • Controlling or threatening to control an individual's access to a controlled substance
  • The destruction or taking of, or the threatened destruction or taking of, an individual's identification document or other property
  • The use of debt bondage
  • The use of an individual's physical or mental impairment when the impairment has a substantial adverse effect on the individual's cognitive or volitional function
  • The commission of civil or criminal fraud

The term 'debt bondage' means inducing an individual to provide the following:

  • Commercial sexual activity in payment toward or satisfaction of a real or purported debt
  • Labor or services in payment toward or satisfaction of a real or purported debt if either of the following apply:
    • The reasonable value of the labor or services is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt.
    • The length of the labor or services is not limited and the nature of the labor or services is not defined.

The term 'serious harm' means harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, economic, or reputational, to an individual that would compel a reasonable individual of the same background and in the same circumstances to perform or continue to perform labor, or services, or sexual activity to avoid incurring the harm.

A person commits the offense of 'trafficking an individual' if the person knowingly recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, receives, provides, obtains, isolates, maintains, or entices an individual in furtherance of either of the following:

  • Forced labor in violation of § 134
  • Sexual servitude in violation of § 135

A person commits the offense of 'forced labor' if the person knowingly uses coercion to compel an individual to provide labor or services, except when such conduct is permissible under Federal law or law of the Virgin Islands other than this chapter.

Definitions of Sex Trafficking of Minors

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 14, §§ 132; 135; 136; 137

The term 'commercial sexual activity' means sexual activity for which anything of value is given to, promised to, or received by a person. The term 'sexual activity' includes a sexually explicit performance.

A person commits the offense of 'sexual servitude' if the person knowingly does either of the following:

  • Maintains or makes available a minor for the purpose of engaging the minor in commercial sexual activities
  • Uses coercion or deception to compel an adult to engage in commercial sexual activity

It is not a defense in a prosecution that the minor consented to engage in commercial sexual activity or that the defendant believed the minor was an adult.

A person commits the offense of 'patronizing a victim of sexual servitude' if the person knowingly gives, agrees to give, or offers to give anything of value so that an individual may engage in commercial sexual activity with another individual and the person knows that the other individual is a victim of sexual servitude. Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude who is an adult is a felony punishable by imprisonment of no more than 10 years. Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude who is a minor is a felony punishable by imprisonment for no more than 20 years.

A person commits the offense of 'patronizing a minor for commercial sexual activity' if either of the following apply:

  • With the intent that an individual engage in commercial sexual activity with a minor, the person gives, agrees to give, or offers to give anything of value to a minor or another person so that the individual may engage in commercial sexual activity with a minor.
  • The person gives, agrees to give, or offers to give anything of value to a minor or another person so that an individual may engage in commercial sexual activity with a minor.