Human Trafficking Laws
Human trafficking is the process of forcing another person into servitude, either as a laborer or sex worker. It is not simply transporting a person or people across country borders, although the act of smuggling may be a part of a human trafficking case.
Victims of human trafficking typically work for little or no pay and almost always against their will. They are often disenfranchised individuals, including homeless men and women, runaway youth and undocumented immigrants.
Is Human Trafficking a Federal Offense?
Human trafficking is always a felony; however, under certain circumstances the federal government will become involved in prosecuting a case. These include cases that occur on federal property, tribal land or when individuals are trafficked across state lines.
- Child sex trafficking
- - Victim under 14: prison sentence of 15 years to life in prison
- - Victim aged 14 to 17: 10 years to life in prison
- Labor trafficking: punishable by up to 20 years in prison, except for cases involving attempted murder, homicide, kidnapping and sexual assault—these are punishable by a life sentence in prison.
In Oklahoma, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16. However, it is against both state and federal law for anyone under the age of 18 to be involved in the commercial sex industry.
As a result, anyone who prostitutes a minor under the age of 18 can be charged with either child prostitution or trafficking in minors. Although both are felonies, the penalties vary and can include the following:
- Child prostitution: maximum10 years in prison and mandatory sex offender registration
- Trafficking in minors: minimum 10 years in prison, fine of up to $20,000