This paper presents a comprehensive review of current literature on human trafficking into and within the United States. This review of the literature is part of a larger study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, to examine how HHS programs are currently addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking, including domestic victims, with a priority focus on domestic youth. This study is also structured to identify barriers and promising practices for addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking, with a goal of informing current and future program design and improving services to this extremely vulnerable population.
While historically there have been inconsistencies and disagreements regarding the definition of human trafficking among politicians, practitioners, and scholars (Laczko & Gramegna, 2003; Richard, 1999), for the purpose of this literature review, the legal definition of human trafficking set forth in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) will be used. In the TVPA, Congress defines severe forms of trafficking in persons as:
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 (8 U.S.C. § 1101).
To conduct a comprehensive review of the literature associated with the trafficking of foreign nationals into the United States and of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents within the country, we performed multiple searches of the literature using Google™ and EBSCOhost® search engines. In particular, within the EBSCOhost search engine, we searched the...
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