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Global Consortium on Prosecuting Human Trafficking

“An international collaboration of the key figures in successful trafficking and exploitation prosecutions will help justice sector stakeholders and other policymakers move forward with greater knowledge and tools to ensure perpetrators of this heinous offense are brought to justice.”

In early 2021, Justice and Care and the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University launched a Global Experts Consortium on Prosecuting Human Trafficking to increase human trafficking investigation and prosecution efforts around the world.

Human trafficking—also known as modern slavery—deprives more than 27 million people worldwide of their freedom and touches nearly every corner of the world. Its toll goes well beyond the suffering it inflicts upon individuals: it swells the ranks of vulnerable communities, strains public resources, and distorts markets and licit commerce.

Despite increased awareness, the number of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of human trafficking offenses remains disturbingly low. Recent statistics from the U.S. Department of State indicate that there were 10,572 criminal prosecutions globally in 2021 (TIP Report), representing a 45% decrease in prosecutions since 2015. Similarly, between 2015 and 2018, the prosecution of traffickers in Europe decreased by 52%, averaging about 1,500 convictions per year, despite identifying over 13,500 victims annually.

The objectives of the Prosecutors Consortium are to:

  • Align best available evidence for prosecuting human trafficking cases with a victim-centered approach
  • Develop specific, targeted policy recommendations
  • Build a vibrant global practitioners’ network of experienced human trafficking prosecutors

Guidance Materials

Guidance for Police: Responding to and
Investigating Cases of Human Trafficking

Law enforcement should identify and investigate the complex and evolving crime of human trafficking in a way that is responsive to the needs of both the victims and the prosecution.

Guiding Principles on Application
of Non-Punishment

Trafficking victims should not be inappropriately
punished for crimes they commit as
a result of being trafficked.