2020 US Code
Title 18 - Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Part I - Crimes
Chapter 77 - Peonage, Slavery, and Trafficking in Persons
Sec. 1589 - Forced labor

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Citation 18 U.S.C. § 1589 (2020)
Section Name §1589. Forced labor
Section Text

(a) Whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person by any one of, or by any combination of, the following means—

(1) by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint, or threats of physical restraint to that person or another person;

(2) by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm to that person or another person;

(3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process; or

(4) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if that person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint,

shall be punished as provided under subsection (d).

(b) Whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which has engaged in the providing or obtaining of labor or services by any of the means described in subsection (a), knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the venture has engaged in the providing or obtaining of labor or services by any of such means, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).

(c) In this section:

(1) The term "abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process" means the use or threatened use of a law or legal process, whether administrative, civil, or criminal, in any manner or for any purpose for which the law was not designed, in order to exert pressure on another person to cause that person to take some action or refrain from taking some action.

(2) The term "serious harm" means any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational harm, that is sufficiently serious, under all the surrounding circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same background and in the same circumstances to perform or to continue performing labor or services in order to avoid incurring that harm.

(d) Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If death results from a violation of this section, or if the violation includes kidnaping, an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, the defendant shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both.

Source Credit

(Added Pub. L. 106–386, div. A, §112(a)(2), Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1486; amended Pub. L. 110–457, title II, §222(b)(3), Dec. 23, 2008, 122 Stat. 5068.)


2008—Pub. L. 110–457 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section provided penalties for knowingly providing or obtaining forced labor.

Publication Title United States Code, 2018 Edition, Supplement 2, Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Category Bills and Statutes
Collection United States Code
SuDoc Class Number Y 1.2/5:
Sec. 1589 - Forced labor
Contains section 1589
Date 2020
Laws In Effect As Of Date January 13, 2021
Positive Law Yes
Disposition standard
Statutes at Large References 114 Stat. 1486
122 Stat. 5068
Public Law References Public Law 106-386, Public Law 110-457
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