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New UN Office on Drugs and Crime digest on evidential issues in trafficking in persons cases

Date of Publication: 
15 March 2017

Comprehensive report aims to assist practitioners in addressing recurring issues in trafficking cases

New UN Office on Drugs and Crime digest on evidential issues in trafficking in persons cases

15 March 2017

As highlighted on Free Movement after being flagged by Garden Court's Louise Hooper, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) this month released a comprehensive case digest on evidential issues in trafficking in persons cases.

Experts from across the globe helped develop the case digest and you can read it here.

It runs to 192 pages and UNODC says the aim is to assist practitioners worldwide in addressing recurring evidential issues that are typical to trafficking in persons cases.

UNODC adds: "It can help practitioners build a trafficking case; it can give them an arsenal of tools to deal with common evidential weaknesses; it can reveal considerations and tools, helpful in tackling particularly difficult evidential problems; it can analyze cases in depth, thus showing how the interplay of different evidential patterns leads to a conviction or an exoneration. The Case Digest has analyzed 135 cases from 31 jurisdictions and provides the reader, based on these real cases tried, with a range of options and possibilities to deal with particular evidential challenges."

The case digest states that its goal is not to instruct practitioners categorically on how to conduct cases, but rather to present evidential issues and patterns and describe how different jurisdictions addressed them.

In addition to cases dealing with trafficking in persons, the case digest also examines cases of "allied crimes" such as slavery, forced labour and involuntary servitude.

Most of the cases included in the digest are drawn from UNODC's Human Trafficking Case Law Database at and most revolve around trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation or for labour exploitation.

The last part of the case digest consists of the in-depth analysis of cases that pulls together the variety of evidential issues which may arise in actual cases.