Involuntary servitude definition Government:- Although many observers see freedom and slavery as diametrically opposed, both wage labour systems—free and slave—rely on coercion. Slave systems primarily rely on physical force to compel slaves to labour for their owners, however economic, cultural, and ideological forces frequently reinforce physical force.
Law and Definition of Involuntary Servitude
The term “involuntary servitude” describes being coerced into working for someone else. The word is sometimes used synonymously with slavery, however this does not always mean that there is no personal freedom associated with slavery.
Individuals cannot be forced into slavery in the United States unless it is done as a kind of punishment for a crime. The United States Constitution states in its Thirteenth Amendment that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Any form of forced labour to pay debts, including slavery and peonage, is referred to as involuntary servitude. The two fundamental components of involuntary servitude are slavery, or performing labour for another person, and involuntariness, or being forced to act against one’s will. When the only immediate consequence for not completing unpleasant labour is the withholding of money or losing one’s job, then imprisonment without forced labour is not considered involuntary servitude, nor is unpleasant labour.
Slavery And Other Types Of Involuntary Work
Three criteria, according to Patterson (1982, p. 13), characterise slavery. First, slavery is a lifelong oppression that is finally enforced through force. Slave owners’ ability to physically compel their captives is the foundation for their ongoing enslavement.
Slaves also experience natal alienation, which is the breaking of all familial ties and the invalidation of all birth claims. They do not get any privileges or protection from their forebears, and they are unable to pass on any privileges or protection to their offspring.
Third, owners enjoy social elevation while slaves are denied honour. The fact that all hierarchical social structures produce legitimising beliefs that elevate elites and disparage individuals at lower levels suggests that this condition is a derivative rather than a definitive form of slavery. The working definition of slavery used in this article is based on the first two characteristics, which set it apart from other forms of involuntary servitude.
Legality of Involuntary Servitude
Involuntary slavery is prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, regardless of whether it is imposed by the government or an individual. Any violation of the amendment must have a legal punishment.
The amendment’s main goal was to outlaw African slavery, but it also outlawed other forms of forced labour that were comparable to slavery, regardless of their name. For instance, it outlawed peonage and bond service, which were forced labour arrangements based on a servant’s debt to a master.
The execution of a citizen’s common law obligations to the state is unaffected by the Thirteenth Amendment. A person may be forced by the government to serve on a petit or grand jury, work on public transport or pay taxes on it, or join the militia. The Thirteenth Amendment does not prohibit conscientious objectors from being forced to work on projects of national interest in place of conscription or from requiring them to serve in the military (the draft).
Trafficking relating to forced labour, involuntary servitude, slavery, or peonage is covered under Section 1590.
In violation of this chapter, anybody who intentionally seeks out, harbours, transports, gives, or procures another person for labour or services may be subject to a fine under this title, a maximum 20-year jail sentence, or both options.
The defendant may be punished under this title, imprisoned for a period of years up to life, or both, if the violation causes death, if it involves kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or the attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or if it involves an attempt to kill.