18 U.S.C. § 1595 


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Civil liability Compensation Human trafficking

This section establishes a civil remedy for trafficking offences, which enables victims of human trafficking to recover damages, including punitive damages, and legal fees.


This section was introduced by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act 2003.

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Section 1595. Civil Remedy

(a) An individual who is a victim of a violation of this chapter may bring a civil action against the perpetrator (or whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known has engaged in an act in violation of this chapter) in an appropriate district court of the United States and may recover damages and reasonable attorneys fees.

(b)(1) Any civil action filed under this section shall be stayed during the pendency of any criminal action arising out of the same occurrence in which the claimant is the victim.

(2) In this subsection, a “criminal action” includes investigation and prosecution and is pending until final adjudication in the trial court.

(c) No action may be maintained under this section unless it is commenced not later than the later of—

(1) 10 years after the cause of action arose; or

(2) 10 years after the victim reaches 18 years of age, if the victim was a minor at the time of the alleged offense.

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.