18 U.S.C. § 1592

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Abuse of vulnerability Criminal liability Forced labour Human trafficking Retention of travel and identification documents

This provision criminalises the confiscation, destruction or other interference with documents such as passports or identification documents, in the course of committing trafficking offence or in order to restrict the liberty of a victim of trafficking or forced labour to move or travel.

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Section 1592. Unlawful conduct with respect to documents in furtherance of trafficking, peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor:

(a) Whoever knowingly destroys, conceals, removes, confiscates, or possesses any actual or purported passport or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document, of another person—

(1) in the course of a violation of section 1581, 1583, 1584, 1589, 1590, 1591, or 1594(a);

(2) with intent to violate section 1581, 1583, 1584, 1589, 1590, or 1591; or

(3) to prevent or restrict or to 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, when the person is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000,

shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to the conduct of a person who is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, if that conduct is caused by, or incident to, that trafficking.

(c) Whoever obstructs, attempts to obstruct, or in any way interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this section, shall be subject to the penalties described in subsection (a).

Law / United States / Trafficking Victims Protection Act and its Reauthorizations

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and its Reauthorisations implement an extensive range of measures designed to combat human trafficking, forced labour and slavery, and to protect the rights of victims. The measures include: the criminalisation of ‘sex trafficking’ and trafficking for the purpose of forced labour; the provision of ‘T visas’ to some victims of trafficking and their families; provision for restitution and civil remedies for victims; and the creation of the ‘Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons’ which monitors and evaluates the efforts of the U.S. and other countries in preventing and prosecuting human trafficking and protecting victims.