According to the “trafficking victims protection act 2000” of federal law, human trafficking is a grave breach of human rights. Nearly every country throughout the world is subjected to human trafficking. Human trafficking includes transportation of persons either by force or by deception for different forms of exploitation. The people who are subjected to human trafficking are either used for prostitution, sexual activities, slavery or they are even asked to perform forced labor.
What is human trafficking?
The Maryland laws has divided human trafficking into three major categories:
- Acts: (What is the actual crime)
- Transfer of human
- Receipt of person
- Means: ( How the crime took place)
- By threat or force
- By the misuse of authority
- Or giving incentive to the person controlling the victim
- Purpose: ( why the criminal activity took place)
- Sexual Abuse
- Forced labor
- Organ removal
Bills passed in Maryland to protect human Trafficking
In the year 2014 Maryland passed two bills for the protection of human trafficking. These bills states:
- Senate Bill 454:
- This bill deals with the criminal offenses of kidnapping minors for the purpose of sexual activities. Kidnapping a minor is itself a misdemeanor offense and the guilty offender is subjected to 10 years of imprisonment. The Senate bill 454 increased the punishment of 10 years to 25years of imprisonment if an individual is found guilty of involving a minor into prostitution.
- Senate Bill 818:
- This bill deals with the establishment of human trafficking for the victims where the actual address of the victim is kept confidential.
The Maryland passed “House bill 256” in 2015, which formed a workgroup to research on harbor policies for recommending safety measures for young victim of human trafficking.
Penalties for human trafficking in Maryland
In Maryland penalties for human trafficking differs with the degree of offense. The penalties for human trafficking in Maryland includes:
- Criminal Offense: Renting for Prostitution, solicitation or operating a prostitution house.
- Penalty: The individual found guilty for the above crime is subjected to one year of imprisonment along with a fine of $500.
- Criminal offense: selling a minor
- Penalty: The individuals found guilty for selling a minor are subjected to 5 years jail time along with a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Criminal offense: Earning through prostitution
- Penalty: The individual found guilty for collecting/taking profits from the earnings of a prostitute is subjected to 10 years of imprisonment and along with a fine of maximum $10,000.
- Criminal offense: Kidnapping a child for prostitution
- Penalty: kidnapping a minor for prostitution can lead to 25 years imprisonment along with a maximum fine of $5000.
- Criminal offense: Other Misdemeanors
- Penalty: Most of the human trafficking cases are categorized as Misdemeanors in Maryland and the guilty individuals are subjected to imprisonment of maximum ten years along with a maximum fine of $5000.
- Criminal offense: Individual are charged with Felony for treating minors to marry forcefully or perform sexual activates
- Penalty: In Maryland an individual charged with felony is subjected to 25 years imprisonment and a fine of maximum $15000.