Kohn Swift represents plaintiffs in litigation involving forced labor, human trafficking, and sex trafficking, seeking to hold accountable perpetrators of these abuses.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims, forcing them to perform labor or commercial sex work against their will.

City building with an American flag flying


A number of provisions of U.S. federal law target human trafficking, also known as involuntary servitude, slavery, or forced labor. In particular, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) gives victims in the United States the right to sue traffickers. It also allows victims to sue “whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value” from the trafficking crimes committed against them. Traffickers and the trafficking enablers who helped and supported them can be sued in U.S. federal courts even if they do not live in the United States.


Courts in human trafficking cases may award plaintiffs monetary damages to compensate them for unpaid wages and overtime in forced labor cases. They also can award damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and punitive damages, to punish the trafficker and to dissuade future trafficking.

In addition, courts can use injunctive relief, for example, requiring employers to change certain practices. Most important for some survivors is the opportunity to seek justice, to hold the traffickers accountable for the horrific abuse they have endured.