Sex trafficking is a commercial sex act that is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18.
Labor trafficking is 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.
*Debt bondage or peonage is a system by which laborers are bound in servitude until their debts are paid in full. Victims of trafficking are often subjected to debt bondage, usually in the context of paying off transportation fees into the destination countries. In many cases, the victims are trapped into a cycle of debt because they have to pay for all living expenses in addition to the initial transportation expenses.
New Hampshire was one of the first states to criminalize human trafficking activity and in 2014 a comprehensive rewrite of the Human Trafficking statute (SB 317) strengthened the law to increase New Hampshire's capacity to fight this crime. This bill includes strong protections for victims and increased accountability for those convicted of trafficking. The law includes making prostituting minors a felony;
provides protection from criminal prosecution or juvenile delinquency proceedings to children who have been forced into prostitution or other forms of human trafficking; makes it a felony to knowingly force a person to engage in labor or sex acts against their will; allows a victim to petition to vacate a conviction for prostitution when that person was trafficked, and it allows a victim to sue their trafficker in civil court.
We know that human labor and sex trafficking is a growing problem in this country, and New Hampshire is not immune. It is critical that law enforcement, the courts, partnering agencies, and advocacy organizations are able to intervene quickly and efficiently to end victimization and effectively prosecute traffickers.
Increasing awareness of these crimes results in more positive identification of human trafficking. New Hampshire has seen an increasing number of human trafficking cases in recent years but still has no designated programs, shelters, or funding for trafficking victims. Currently the Coalition's 13 member programs across the state have been able to assist survivors of sex and labor trafficking by providing survivors safe haven and helping them rebuild their lives.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
The Polaris BeFree Textline: Text: BeFree (233733)