The PROTECT Act, a federal law adopted in 2003, makes it a crime for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to travel abroad to sexually abuse children. A Ropes & Gray pro bono legal team, collaborating with the Human Trafficking Legal Center, conducted extensive research on federal criminal and civil cases brought against abusers since the law’s passage.
This publication analyzes civil federal trafficking cases brought against detention facilities and affiliated entities in the United States. The cases provide vivid examples of allegations against private prison corporations, municipalities, and others for violations of trafficking, involuntary servitude, and forced labor laws. Detainees and others have courageously come forward to demand an end to these alleged abuses.
The Human Trafficking Legal Center maintains comprehensive databases on civil and criminal trafficking cases filed in the United States. The data show that the widely-held belief that all trafficking victims enter the country without legal documentation is simply false. In a large number of federal criminal and civil trafficking cases, foreign-born human trafficking victims enter the United States with legal visas, eager to work in legitimate jobs. Instead, the workers discover that their employer-sponsored visas render them vulnerable to traffickers. This publication tracks federal criminal and civil trafficking cases filed in federal courts involving victims with legal visas.
This fact sheet documents the nexus between domestic violence and human trafficking. Drawing on federal criminal indictments, civil trafficking cases, and immigration decisions, the case studies compiled here provide a resource for advocates representing human trafficking victims subjected to domestic violence. The Human Trafficking Legal Center provides this fact sheet in part to assist advocates handling T-visa applications for trafficking survivors who may be married or related to their traffickers. For technical assistance on these issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amicus Brief: Menocal et al. v. The Geo Group, Inc.
The Human Trafficking Legal Center, Tahirih Justice Center, ASISTA, Freedom Network USA, and Sanctuary for Families submitted this amicus brief to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of former immigrant detainees who alleged that GEO Group, a private prison and detention company, coerced them into forced labor under threat of solitary confinement, paying them $1.00 a day.
Medical Fact Sheet: Human Trafficking and Health Care Providers
Co-authored with HEAL Trafficking, this fact sheet documents incidents that illustrate how human trafficking has presented in health care settings. Citing to federal criminal indictments and civil trafficking cases, this fact sheet is a resource to assist medical professionals in recognizing red flags and risk factors.
An analysis of civil and criminal remedies for domestic workers trafficked by diplomats and international organization employees.
Citation: Martina E. Vandenberg & Sarah Bessell, Diplomatic Immunity and the Abuse of Domestic Workers: Criminal and Civil Remedies in the United States, 26 Duke J. Comp. & Int’l L. 595 (2016).
An overview of federal criminal and civil cases involving trafficking victims with disabilities, including an analysis of human trafficking risks for this population.
Co-authored with the Freedom Fund, this report details how advocates can use strategic litigation to create systemic change in combating human trafficking. Citing successful case studies, the report is a guide for advocates interested in pursuing strategic trafficking litigation worldwide.
A quantitative assessment concluding that courts routinely fail to order Congressionally-mandated criminal restitution to trafficking victims. Child victims of sex trafficking are least likely to receive mandatory restitution orders in the federal courts.
Citation: Alexandra F. Levy & Martina E. Vandenberg, Breaking the Law: The Failure to Award Mandatory Criminal Restitution to Victims in Sex Trafficking Cases, 60(1) St. Louis Univ. L. J. 43 (2015).
This report, co-authored with WilmerHale, is an in-depth examination of all federal criminal human trafficking cases brought between 2009 and 2012. Analysis of the court dockets showed that restitution was awarded in just 36% of cases. The conclusion: for trafficking victims, mandatory does not mean mandatory.
An analysis of the intersection between diplomatic immunity and efforts to secure justice for trafficking victims exploited by diplomats and international officials in the United States. The article discusses the role of diplomatic immunity in criminal prosecutions and civil suits.
Citation: Martina E. Vandenberg & Alexandra Levy, Human Trafficking and Diplomatic Immunity: Impunity No More?, 7 Intercultural Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 77 (2012).