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Human Trafficking Legislation

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (H.R. 3244) was passed by the 106th Congress in 2000, establishing a clear basis to prosecuting human trafficking. For the full legislative text, and information on subsequent reauthorizations, visit the website here.  

In 2014, the Colorado General Assembly passed H.B. 14-1273, establishing the Colorado Human Trafficking Council  and the core of current human trafficking laws in Colorado. This legislation strengthened the old law in several ways:

  • It provided that consent of a minor victim to trafficking or lack of knowledge regarding a victim’s age were not defenses.

  • It eliminated the need to show transfer or receipt of a thing of value to prove trafficking.


The two current human trafficking laws in Colorado are found in section §18-3-504 - Human Trafficking for Sexual Servitude and § 18-3-503 - Human Trafficking for Involuntary Servitude (Labor). Both charges are class 3 felonies if the victim is an adult and class 2 felonies if the victim is a minor.


Importantly, human trafficking of an adult (either sex or labor trafficking) requires proof of the element of force, fraud or coercion by the perpetrator. These elements are not required to be proven if the victim is a minor.


There are a number of other criminal charges in Colorado that can also be used to prosecute human trafficking; these crimes include: Pandering, Pimping, Fraud, Theft, Forgery, and more.

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