According to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Palermo Protocol), “trafficking in persons” shall mean:

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.


The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as:

Sex trafficking- the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion. or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; and

Labor trafficking- 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.


Louisiana’s Criminal Law RS 14:46.2 on human trafficking states that it shall be unlawful:

(1) For any person to knowingly recruit, harbor, transport, provide, solicit, receive, isolate, entice, obtain, or maintain the use of another person through fraud, force, or coercion to provide services or labor.

(2) For any person to knowingly benefit from activity prohibited by the provisions of this Section.

(3) For any person to knowingly facilitate any of the activities prohibited by the provisions of this Section by any means, including but not limited to helping, aiding, abetting, or conspiring, regardless of whether a thing of value has been promised to or received by the person.


The A-M-P Model

The Action-Means-Purpose Model is a tool to determine whether a situation fits the federal definition of human trafficking. The "action" is the thing the trafficker does to a trafficking victim using the "means" or the method the trafficker uses to compel a person into the "purpose" or the type of exploitation. 

Human trafficking occurs when a perpetrator, often referred to as a trafficker, takes any one of the enumerated ‘Actions’, and then employs the ‘Means’ of force, fraud or coercion for the ‘Purpose’ of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services.
— Polaris Project