Human Trafficking Laws in Arizona

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Human Trafficking Laws in Arizona


One of the most pervasive crimes is human trafficking. It is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world. Basically, it is a modern form of slavery. Arizona is a hot spot for human trafficking. 


There are two types of human trafficking.

Sex and labor trafficking both fall under the umbrella term: human trafficking. The two break down a bit differently. 

Sex trafficking involves “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person” for commercialized sex acts. This may leave one wondering what a commercialized sex act means. It can be considered sex trafficking if an individual uses “force, fraud, or coercion” on another. 

An example would be offering to trade someone food, gifts, or a place to stay in exchange for a sexual favor. Another example is bonded labor, or debt bondage. This is where a person, who holds another, promises freedom upon repayment of the debt. This payment could be in the form of sex acts or labor.


Minors are protected under the provision H.B. 2454

If a John knowingly has sex with a minor who is fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen, they will be charged with a Class 2 Felony in the state of Arizona. Fifty percent of victims trafficked in the U.S. are under age 16. They’re often trafficked in places they frequent, like social media websites, parks, or malls. 

Cases where a trafficked individual is a minor hold higher sentencing for the traffickers. The sentence could range from roughly 10 – 30 years, depending on prior felonies. 


Human Trafficking Explained with the AMP Model

In order to be classified as an actual act of human trafficking, the three elements of the Act-Means-Purpose Model (AMP) must be present.

  • An Action would be: recruitment, transportation or providing of one person to another, or obtaining a person.
  • Means includes fraud, force, or coercion.
  • Purpose is considered to be commercial sex acts or the service of labor.

Exploitation is what makes a person a victim—this person does not have to be displaced for human trafficking to be charged. 


Criminal Defense Attorney

Todd Coolidge and the attorneys at Coolidge Law serve the Arizona areas of Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Tempe. If legal representation is needed, contact the team at Coolidge Law Firm. 

For a list of services, see here


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