2022 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XLVI CRIMES
Chapter 787 KIDNAPPING; CUSTODY OFFENSES; HUMAN TRAFFICKING; AND RELATED OFFENSES
SECTION 06Human trafficking.
787.06 Human trafficking.—
(1)(a) The Legislature finds that human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, and adults. Thousands of victims are trafficked annually across international borders worldwide. Many of these victims are trafficked into this state. Victims of human trafficking also include citizens of the United States and those persons trafficked domestically within the borders of the United States. The Legislature finds that victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.
(b) The Legislature finds that while many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution or the sexual entertainment industry, trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work, and migrant agricultural work.
(c) The Legislature finds that traffickers use various techniques to instill fear in victims and to keep them enslaved. Some traffickers keep their victims under lock and key. However, the most frequently used practices are less obvious techniques that include isolating victims from the public and family members; confiscating passports, visas, or other identification documents; using or threatening to use violence toward victims or their families; telling victims that they will be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities; and controlling the victims’ funds by holding the money ostensibly for safekeeping.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that the perpetrators of human trafficking be penalized for their illegal conduct and that the victims of trafficking be protected and assisted by this state and its agencies. In furtherance of this policy, it is the intent of the Legislature that the state Supreme Court, The Florida Bar, and relevant state agencies prepare and implement training programs in order that judges, attorneys, law enforcement personnel, investigators, and others are able to identify traffickers and victims of human trafficking and direct victims to appropriate agencies for assistance. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Children and Families and other state agencies cooperate with other state and federal agencies to ensure that victims of human trafficking can access social services and benefits to alleviate their plight.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Coercion” means:
1. Using or threatening to use physical force against any person;
2. Restraining, isolating, or confining or threatening to restrain, isolate, or confine any person without lawful authority and against her or his will;
3. Using lending or other credit methods to establish a debt by any person when labor or services are pledged as a security for the debt, if the value of the labor or services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt, the length and nature of the labor or services are not respectively limited and defined;
4. Destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, withholding, or possessing any actual or purported passport, visa, or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document, of any person;
5. Causing or threatening to cause financial harm to any person;
6. Enticing or luring any person by fraud or deceit; or
7. Providing a controlled substance as outlined in Schedule I or Schedule II of s. 893.03 to any person for the purpose of exploitation of that person.
(b) “Commercial sexual activity” means any violation of chapter 796 or an attempt to commit any such offense, and includes sexually explicit performances and the production of pornography.
(c) “Financial harm” includes extortionate extension of credit, loan sharking as defined in s. 687.071, or employment contracts that violate the statute of frauds as provided in s. 725.01.
(d) “Human trafficking” means transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, purchasing, patronizing, procuring, or obtaining another person for the purpose of exploitation of that person.
(e) “Labor” means work of economic or financial value.
(f) “Maintain” means, in relation to labor or services, to secure or make possible continued performance thereof, regardless of any initial agreement on the part of the victim to perform such type service.
(g) “Obtain” means, in relation to labor, commercial sexual activity, or services, to receive, take possession of, or take custody of another person or secure performance thereof.
(h) “Services” means any act committed at the behest of, under the supervision of, or for the benefit of another. The term includes, but is not limited to, forced marriage, servitude, or the removal of organs.
(i) “Sexually explicit performance” means an act or show, whether public or private, that is live, photographed, recorded, or videotaped and intended to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires or appeal to the prurient interest.
(j) “Unauthorized alien” means an alien who is not authorized under federal law to be employed in the United States, as provided in 8 U.S.C. s. 1324a(h)(3). The term shall be interpreted consistently with that section and any applicable federal rules or regulations.
(k) “Venture” means any group of two or more individuals associated in fact, whether or not a legal entity.
(3) Any person who knowingly, or in reckless disregard of the facts, engages in human trafficking, or attempts to engage in human trafficking, or benefits financially by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture that has subjected a person to human trafficking:
(a)1. For labor or services of any child younger than 18 years of age or an adult believed by the person to be a child younger than 18 years of age commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) Using coercion for commercial sexual activity of an adult commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c)1. For labor or services of any child younger than 18 years of age or an adult believed by the person to be a child younger than 18 years of age who is an unauthorized alien commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(d) Using coercion for commercial sexual activity of an adult who is an unauthorized alien commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(e)1. For labor or services who does so by the transfer or transport of any child younger than 18 years of age or an adult believed by the person to be a child younger than 18 years of age from outside this state to within this state commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(f)1. For commercial sexual activity who does so by the transfer or transport of any child younger than 18 years of age or an adult believed by the person to be a child younger than 18 years of age from outside this state to within this state commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life, or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(g) For commercial sexual activity in which any child younger than 18 years of age or an adult believed by the person to be a child younger than 18 years of age, or in which any person who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated as those terms are defined in s. 794.011(1), is involved commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082(3)(a)6., s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
For each instance of human trafficking of any individual under this subsection, a separate crime is committed and a separate punishment is authorized.
(4)(a) Any parent, legal guardian, or other person having custody or control of a minor who sells or otherwise transfers custody or control of such minor, or offers to sell or otherwise transfer custody of such minor, with knowledge or in reckless disregard of the fact that, as a consequence of the sale or transfer, the minor will be subject to human trafficking commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) Any person who, for the purpose of committing or facilitating an offense under this section, permanently brands, or directs to be branded, a victim of an offense under this section commits a second degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, the term “permanently branded” means a mark on the individual’s body that, if it can be removed or repaired at all, can only be removed or repaired by surgical means, laser treatment, or other medical procedure.
(5) The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission shall establish standards for basic and advanced training programs for law enforcement officers in the subjects of investigating and preventing human trafficking crimes. Every basic skills course required for law enforcement officers to obtain initial certification must include training on human trafficking crime prevention and investigation.
(6) Each state attorney shall develop standards of instruction for prosecutors to receive training on the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes and shall provide for periodic and timely instruction.
(7) Any real property or personal property that was used, attempted to be used, or intended to be used in violation of any provision of this section may be seized and shall be forfeited subject to the provisions of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.
(8) The degree of an offense shall be reclassified as follows if a person causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to another person during the commission of an offense under this section:
(a) A felony of the second degree shall be reclassified as a felony of the first degree.
(b) A felony of the first degree shall be reclassified as a life felony.
(9) In a prosecution under this section, the defendant’s ignorance of the victim’s age, the victim’s misrepresentation of his or her age, or the defendant’s bona fide belief of the victim’s age cannot be raised as a defense.
(10)(a) Information about the location of a residential facility offering services for adult victims of human trafficking involving commercial sexual activity, which is held by an agency, as defined in s. 119.011, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to such confidential and exempt information held by an agency before, on, or after the effective date of the exemption.
(b) Information about the location of a residential facility offering services for adult victims of human trafficking involving commercial sexual activity may be provided to an agency, as defined in s. 119.011, as necessary to maintain health and safety standards and to address emergency situations in the residential facility.
(c) The exemptions from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution provided in this subsection do not apply to facilities licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(11) A victim’s lack of chastity or the willingness or consent of a victim is not a defense to prosecution under this section if the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense.
(12) The Legislature encourages each state attorney to adopt a pro-prosecution policy for human trafficking offenses, as provided in this section. After consulting the victim, or making a good faith attempt to consult the victim, the state attorney shall determine the filing, nonfiling, or diversion of criminal charges even in circumstances when there is no cooperation from a victim or over the objection of the victim, if necessary.
History.—s. 2, ch. 2004-391; s. 1, ch. 2006-168; s. 5, ch. 2012-97; s. 300, ch. 2014-19; s. 7, ch. 2014-160; s. 96, ch. 2015-2; s. 2, ch. 2015-147; s. 3, ch. 2016-24; s. 25, ch. 2016-105; s. 4, ch. 2016-199; s. 2, ch. 2020-49; s. 2, ch. 2021-189.