Human trafficking is an issue that has permeated the criminal culture of the world, and it is particularly prevalent in America where victims from this crime from all around the world tend to be brought because of the fact that there is a lot of profit to be made from the demand that comes from people looking to buy organs illegally or engage in soliciting prostitution. Hence, the penalties for human trafficking are going to be quite severe, which is understandable when you consider the enormous damage this crime causes not just to the people it is done to but society in general as well.
Being directly involved in human trafficking is a class 5 felony, and there are variants of the penalty code that ascribe class 4 and class 3 felony statuses to various acts of human trafficking as well. The wide range of penalties comes from the fact that human trafficking happens in many shapes and forms. There is sex trafficking, the organ black market, pedophile rings as well as enforced labor which is basically just slavery by another name.
One thing that you need to understand about human trafficking laws in Virginia is that they tend to put a lot more emphasis on sex trafficking above everything else. This is because of the fact that the very genesis of the law against human trafficking, which didn’t even exist before the year 2015, came from the fact that it lead to an increase in things like prostitution. Hence, a lot of the language that talks about how human trafficking is banned comes from a place of trying to reduce the amount of prostitution in the state.
The language talks about forcing people into prostitution quite a bit for example, and says that anyone that coerces an individual into accepting financial remuneration in exchange for acts of sex is going to be liable to receive a legal penalty. There are a lot of problems with this law of course. For example, it doesn’t take into account the fact that a lot of the victims of human trafficking are actually children, and that the language tends to turn them into a criminal as well rather than giving them the sympathy that they certainly deserve. This rings true for all victims of sex trafficking, who are often arrested and prosecuted for crimes that they never chose to commit.
That being said, the fact that the human trafficking laws now exist makes it a lot easier for law enforcement officials and the like to prosecute people that take part in this criminal activity and ruin so many lives. Now that the law exists, improving it is going to become a lot easier. Additionally, the presence of the law makes it possible for precedents to be set which will allow future judges to make rulings based on such precedents and convict offenders and sentence them to much higher prison times than would have been the case otherwise.