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Victims of Trafficking Protection Act

This statute is provided for your convenience but is not the official version, which appears in the U.S. Code.  For official public laws visit: thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php

The LSC provisions of the Victims of Trafficking Protection Act appear at Pub. L. 106–386, §§ 107(b) and (e), 114 Stat. 1464, 1475, 1477 (2000) as amended by  Pub. L. 108–193, §§ 4, 117 Stat. 2875, 2877 (2003), codified in Titles 22 and 8 of the U.S. Code, reprinted below (as of May 1, 2014).

See 45 C.F.R. Part 1626 for implementation by LSC

  

TITLE 22. FOREIGN RELATIONS AND INTERCOURSE  

CHAPTER 78. TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION

 

§7102. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) Abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process

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

(2) Appropriate congressional committees

The term “appropriate congressional committees” means the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

(3) Coercion

The term “coercion” means-

(A) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person;

(B) 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; or

(C) the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.

(4) Commercial sex act

The term “commercial sex act” means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.

(5) Debt bondage

The term “debt bondage” means the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of his or her personal services or of those of a person under his or her control as a security for debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined.

(6) Involuntary servitude

The term “involuntary servitude” includes a condition of servitude induced by means of-

(A) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that, if the person did not enter into or continue in such condition, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or

(B) the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.

(7) Minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking

The term “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” means the standards set forth in section 7106 of this title.

(8) Nonhumanitarian, nontrade-related foreign assistance

The term “nonhumanitarian, nontrade-related foreign assistance” means-

(A) any assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.], other than-

(i) assistance under chapter 4 of part II of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2346 et seq.] in support of programs of nongovernmental organizations that is made available for any program, project, or activity eligible for assistance under chapter 1 of part I of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.];

(ii) assistance under chapter 8 of part I of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2291 et seq.];

(iii) any other narcotics-related assistance under part I of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.] or under chapter 4or 5 [of] part II of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2346 et seq., 2347 et seq.], but any such assistance provided under this clause shall be subject to the prior notification procedures applicable to reprogrammings pursuant to section 634A of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2394–1];

(iv) disaster relief assistance, including any assistance under chapter 9 of part I of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2292 et seq.];

(v) antiterrorism assistance under chapter 8 of part II of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2349aa et seq.];

(vi) assistance for refugees;

(vii) humanitarian and other development assistance in support of programs of nongovernmental organizations under chapters 1 and 10  of that Act [Chapters 1 and 10 of that Act, referred to in par. (8)(A)(vii), probably means chapters 1 and 10 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which are classified generally to parts I (§2151 et seq.) and X (§2293 et seq.), respectively, of subchapter I of chapter 32 of this title. For complete classification of these chapters to the Code, see Tables.];

(viii) programs under title IV of chapter 2 of part I of that Act [22 U.S.C. 2191 et seq.], relating to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and

(ix) other programs involving trade-related or humanitarian assistance; and

(B) sales, or financing on any terms, under the Arms Export Control Act [22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.], other than sales or financing provided for narcotics-related purposes following notification in accordance with the prior notification procedures applicable to reprogrammings pursuant to section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 U.S.C. 2394–1].

(9) Severe forms of trafficking in persons

The term “severe forms of trafficking in persons” means-

(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex 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

(B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of 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.

(10) Sex trafficking

The term “sex trafficking” means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.

(11) State

The term “State” means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and territories and possessions of the United States.

(12) Task Force

The term “Task Force” means the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking established under section 7103 of this title.

(13) United States

The term “United States” means the fifty States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories and possessions of the United States.

(14) Victim of a severe form of trafficking

The term “victim of a severe form of trafficking” means a person subject to an act or practice described in paragraph (9).

(15) Victim of trafficking

The term “victim of trafficking” means a person subjected to an act or practice described in paragraph (9) or (10).

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§7105. Protection and assistance for victims of trafficking

(a) Assistance for victims in other countries

(1) In general

The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, in consultation with appropriate nongovernmental organizations, shall establish and carry out programs and initiatives in foreign countries to assist in the safe integration, reintegration, or resettlement, as appropriate, of victims of trafficking. Such programs and initiatives shall be designed to meet the appropriate assistance needs of such persons and their children, as identified by the Task Force, and shall be carried out in a manner which takes into account the cross-border, regional, and transnational aspects of trafficking in persons. In addition, such programs and initiatives shall, to the maximum extent practicable, include the following:

(A) Support for local in-country nongovernmental organization-operated hotlines, culturally and linguistically appropriate protective shelters, and regional and international nongovernmental organization networks and databases on trafficking, including support to assist nongovernmental organizations in establishing service centers and systems that are mobile and extend beyond large cities.

(B) Support for nongovernmental organizations and advocates to provide legal, social, and other services and assistance to trafficked individuals, particularly those individuals in detention, and by facilitating contact between relevant foreign government agencies and such nongovernmental organizations to facilitate cooperation between the foreign governments and such organizations.

(C) Education and training for trafficked women and girls.

(D) The safe integration or reintegration of trafficked individuals into an appropriate community or family, with full respect for the wishes, dignity, and safety of the trafficked individual.

(E) Support for developing or increasing programs to assist families of victims in locating, repatriating, and treating their trafficked family members, in assisting the voluntary repatriation of these family members or their integration or resettlement into appropriate communities, and in providing them with treatment.

(F) In cooperation and coordination with relevant organizations, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, and private nongovernmental organizations that contract with, or receive grants from, the United States Government to assist refugees and internally displaced persons, support for-

(i) increased protections for refugees and internally displaced persons, including outreach and education efforts to prevent such refugees and internally displaced persons from being exploited by traffickers; and

(ii) performance of best interest determinations for unaccompanied and separated children who come to the attention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, its partner organizations, or any organization that contracts with the Department of State in order to identify child trafficking victims and to assist their safe integration, reintegration, and resettlement.

(2) Additional requirement

In establishing and conducting programs and initiatives described in paragraph (1), the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall take all appropriate steps to enhance cooperative efforts among foreign countries, including countries of origin of victims of trafficking, to assist in the integration, reintegration, or resettlement, as appropriate, of victims of trafficking, including stateless victims. In carrying out this paragraph, the Secretary and the Administrator shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that cooperative efforts among foreign countries are undertaken on a regional basis and shall brief Congress annually on such efforts.

(b) Victims in the United States

(1) Assistance

(A) Eligibility for benefits and services

Notwithstanding title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 [8 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.], an alien who is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, or an alien classified as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of title 8, shall be eligible for benefits and services under any Federal or State program or activity funded or administered by any official or agency described in subparagraph (B) to the same extent as an alien who is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 1157 of title 8.

(B) Requirement to expand benefits and services

Subject to subparagraph (C) and, in the case of nonentitlement programs, to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation, and the heads of other Federal agencies shall expand benefits and services to victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons in the United States, and aliens classified as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of title 8, without regard to the immigration status of such victims. In the case of nonentitlement programs funded by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, such benefits and services may include services to assist potential victims of trafficking in achieving certification and to assist minor dependent children of victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons or potential victims of trafficking.

(C) Definition of victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons

For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons” means only a person-

(i) who has been subjected to an act or practice described in section 7102(8) of this title as in effect on October 28, 2000; and

(ii)(I) who has not attained 18 years of age; or

(II) who is the subject of a certification under subparagraph (E).

(D) Repealed. 
Pub. L. 108–193, §6(a)(2), Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2880

(E) Certification

(i) In general

Subject to clause (ii), the certification referred to in subparagraph (C) is a certification by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, that the person referred to in subparagraph (C)(ii)(II)-

(I) is willing to assist in every reasonable way in the investigation and prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons or is unable to cooperate with such a request due to physical or psychological trauma; and

(II)(aa) has made a bona fide application for a visa under section 1101(a)(15)(T) of title 8, as added by subsection (e) of this section, that has not been denied; or

(bb) is a person whose continued presence in the United States the Secretary of Homeland Security is ensuring in order to effectuate prosecution of traffickers in persons.

(ii) Period of effectiveness

A certification referred to in subparagraph (C), with respect to a person described in clause (i)(II)(bb), shall be effective only for so long as the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the continued presence of such person is necessary to effectuate prosecution of traffickers in persons.

(iii) Investigation and prosecution defined

For the purpose of a certification under this subparagraph, the term “investigation and prosecution” includes-

(I) identification of a person or persons who have committed severe forms of trafficking in persons;

(II) location and apprehension of such persons;

(III) testimony at proceedings against such persons; or

(IV) responding to and cooperating with requests for evidence and information.

(iv) Assistance to investigations

In making the certification described in this subparagraph with respect to the assistance to investigation or prosecution described in clause (i)(I), the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall consider statements from State and local law enforcement officials that the person referred to in subparagraph (C)(ii)(II) has been willing to assist in every reasonable way with respect to the investigation and prosecution of State and local crimes such as kidnapping, rape, slavery, or other forced labor offenses, where severe forms of trafficking appear to have been involved.

(F) Eligibility for interim assistance of children

(i) Determination

Upon receiving credible information that a child described in subparagraph (C)(ii)(I) who is seeking assistance under this paragraph may have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking in persons, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall promptly determine if the child is eligible for interim assistance under this paragraph. The Secretary shall have exclusive authority to make interim eligibility determinations under this clause. A determination of interim eligibility under this clause shall not affect the independent determination whether a child is a victim of a severe form of trafficking.

(ii) Notification

The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall notify the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security not later than 24 hours after all interim eligibility determinations have been made under clause (i).

(iii) Duration

Assistance under this paragraph may be provided to individuals determined to be eligible under clause (i) for a period of up to 90 days and may be extended for an additional 30 days.

(iv) Long-term assistance for children

(I) Eligibility determination

Before the expiration of the period for interim assistance under clause (iii), the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine if the child referred to in clause (i) is eligible for assistance under this paragraph.

(II) Consultation

In making a determination under subclause (I), the Secretary shall consult with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and nongovernmental organizations with expertise on victims of severe form[s] of trafficking.

(III) Letter of eligibility

If the Secretary, after receiving information the Secretary believes, taken as a whole, indicates that the child is eligible for assistance under this paragraph, the Secretary shall issue a letter of eligibility. The Secretary may not require that the child cooperate with law enforcement as a condition for receiving such letter of eligibility.

(G) Notification of children for interim assistance

Not later than 24 hours after a Federal, State, or local official discovers that a person who is under 18 years of age may be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, the official shall notify the Secretary of Health and Human Services to facilitate the provision of interim assistance under subparagraph (F).

 

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TITLE 8. ALIENS AND NATIONALITY  
CHAPTER 12. IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY  
GENERAL PROVISIONS

January 8, 2014

§1101. Definitions

(a) As used in this chapter-

(15) The term “immigrant” means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens-

(T)(i) subject to section 1184(o) of this title, an alien who the Secretary of Homeland Security, or in the case of subclause (III)(aa) the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, determines-

(I) is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 7102 of title 22;

(II) is physically present in the United States, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry thereto, on account of such trafficking, including physical presence on account of the alien having been allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or a perpetrator of trafficking;

(III)(aa) has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking or the investigation of crime where acts of trafficking are at least one central reason for the commission of that crime;

(bb) in consultation with the Attorney General, as appropriate, is unable to cooperate with a request described in item (aa) due to physical or psychological trauma; or

(cc) has not attained 18 years of age; and

(IV) the alien would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal; and

(ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien described in clause (i)-

(I) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is under 21 years of age, the spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18 years of age on the date on which such alien applied for status under such clause, and parents of such alien;

(II) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is 21 years of age or older, the spouse and children of such alien; or

(III) any parent or unmarried sibling under 18 years of age, or any adult or minor children of a derivative beneficiary of the alien, as of an alien described in subclause (I) or (II) who the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the law enforcement officer investigating a severe form of trafficking, determines faces a present danger of retaliation as a result of the alien's escape from the severe form of trafficking or cooperation with law enforcement.

 

(U)(i) subject to section 1184(p) of this title, an alien who files a petition for status under this subparagraph, if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that-

(I) the alien has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity described in clause (iii);

(II) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) possesses information concerning criminal activity described in clause (iii);

(III) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official, to a Federal, State, or local prosecutor, to a Federal or State judge, to the Service, or to other Federal, State, or local authorities investigating or prosecuting criminal activity described in clause (iii); and

(IV) the criminal activity described in clause (iii) violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States (including in Indian country and military installations) or the territories and possessions of the United States;

(ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien described in clause (i)-

(I) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is under 21 years of age, the spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18 years of age on the date on which such alien applied for status under such clause, and parents of such alien; or

(II) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is 21 years of age or older, the spouse and children of such alien; and

(iii) the criminal activity referred to in this clause is that involving one or more of the following or any similar activity in violation of Federal, State, or local criminal law: rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; prostitution; sexual exploitation; stalking; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; fraud in foreign labor contracting (as defined in section 1351 of title 18) or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes;