Trafficking in Persons Act

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This act defines human trafficking and provides punishment for and methods of preventing human trafficking. §1.100-§1.102 of the act define human trafficking as including recruitment, transportation, and retention of a person by force or coercion for the purpose of slavery, forced labor, keeping a person in a state of servitude, prostitution, other commercial sexual exploitation, and removal of human organs. §3 provides that a person that commits trafficking must pay restitution to the victim. §7 provides that the Court shall sentence a person convicted of human trafficking to prison for at least one year, and that the offender can be sentenced to prison for longer periods under different situations. §8 provides that the fact that the victim was old enough to consent to sex shall not serve as a defense to the human trafficking offense. While §9 provides that the victim is immune from the prostitution or other criminal offenses caused by human trafficking. Art. II, §1 provides that the President shall implement a National Plan to prevent human trafficking and shall appoint members to a task force on implementation, which shall be led by the Minister of Labor. The Law also provides that a victim has a right to restitution including damages to compensate for costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation, transportation costs, lost income, legal fees, and general compensation for distress and pain as well as any other loss suffered. Compensation is paid by the defendant directly to the victim upon conviction. The right to restitution is not affected by the victim returning to his or her home country or by the victim not being present in Liberia. Section 9 provides immunity to any immigration offence that may have been committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Additionally, under Section 8, the Law confirms that consent to sex is not a valid defence to trafficking when violence is used to commit the crime. The Law also imposes corporate liability on international transport companies that fail to verify that passengers in company vehicles which enter other countries have the requisite travel documentation. A company may be fined for failing to comply. Additionally, a company that knowingly facilitates trafficking is liable for the cost of accommodating and providing meals to the victim and any dependent.



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