Browse by Category
Latest Publications - Human Trafficking
|ICAT: Preventing Trafficking in Persons by Addressing Demand (2014)|
|Issue Paper: Abuse of a Position of Vulnerability and other "Means" Within the Definition of Trafficking in Persons (2012 )|
Latest Publications - Migrant Smuggling
|International Framework for Action to implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol||
|Issue Paper: Smuggling of Migrants by Sea (2011)|
The Assessment Guide provides an inventory of measures for assessing the legislative, investigative, prosecutorial, judicial, and administrative responses to the smuggling of migrants by land, air, and sea, for deterring and combating such crime, and for integrating the information and experience gained from such assessment into successful national, regional, and international strategies.
The International Framework for Action to Implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol is a technical assistance tool that aims to support the effective implementation of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The purpose of the Framework for Action is to assist Member States and non-state actors in identifying and addressing gaps in their response to migrant smuggling by recommending practical measures in accordance with international standards. It was elaborated on with the consultation of various UN agencies, international organizations and NGOs.
Read more here.
UNODC has developed an online database to collect and disseminate information on human trafficking prosecutions and convictions.
This case law database intends to enable judges, prosecutors, policy-makers, media, researchers and other interested parties to take court decisions relating to these instruments into account when dealing with human trafficking issues, to promote the uniform interpretation and application of these instruments, to consult on practices in different jurisdictions, and to broaden knowledge on human trafficking crimes as well as the realities faced by ordinary people victimized by those who would buy, sell, and exploit them.
UNODC invites legal practitioners in all Member States to contribute human trafficking case law to the database.
Visit the Case Law Database here.
The UNODC Human Trafficking First Aid Kit for Law Enforcement First Responders has been designed to support front-line officers who may come across cases of human trafficking in their daily work. It consists of a reader friendly booklet, contact sheets to note important local contact points for the referral of cases and victims, leaflets with Dos and Don'ts and posters.
The materials shall help first responders to adequately deal with trafficking in persons cases. The need for easy-to-use information available to all law enforcement officers has been identified by many practitioners in different regions of the world.
The First Aid Kit has been released both electronically and as a carrying case.
Read more and download the full package of the First Aid Kit here.
VITA is a unique new tool using audio messages, that allows law enforcement officials to provide a level of basic assistance to victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking survivors contributed to the development of these messages, which were also supported by experts in human trafficking focused on victims' needs.
This audio tool, consisting of key encounter messages, was developed to facilitate the identification of a trafficked person and the launch of a criminal investigation. Thirty-five basic questions and messages have been recorded and translated into 40 languages, taking into account special questions for children.
Read more about the Vita Tool and download it here.
The Toolkit to Combat Smuggling of Migrants provides guidance, showcases promising practices, and recommends resources to assist policy makers, law enforcers, judges, prosecutors, and members of civil society in their efforts to prevent migrant smuggling, protect smuggled migrants and their rights, and cooperate to these ends. The Toolkit is comprised of tools on understanding migrant smuggling, actors and processes, international legal framework, problem assessment and strategy development, legislative framework, international criminal justice cooperation, law enforcement and prosecution, protection and assistance measures, prevention and capacity building and training.
The Toolkit is divided in thematic areas addressed by the following Tools:
- Tool 1- Understanding the smuggling of migrants
- Tool 2- Actors and processes in the smuggling of migrants
- Tool 3- International legal framework
- Tool 4- Problem assessment and strategy development
- Tool 5- Legislative framework
- Tool 6- International criminal justice cooperation
- Tool 7- Law enforcement and prosecution
- Tool 8- Protection and assistance measures
- Tool 9- Prevention of the smuggling of migrants
- Tool 10- Capacity-building and training
Read more about the Toolkit here.
UNODC, in the framework of the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) has developed the Needs Assessment Toolkit on the Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking.
The main objective of the toolkit is to guide the assessors in gathering and analyzing information pertaining to a country's criminal justice response to human trafficking. More specifically, it aims to assist governments, the civil society, the international community and other relevant actors to conduct a comprehensive or specific assessment of selected aspects of a country's criminal justice response to trafficking in persons. The toolkit contains a number of components that are crucial for curtailing the crime of trafficking in persons and provides sufficient flexibility to be used for assessments both in places where a solid infrastructure for combating trafficking in persons exists and in places with few or no such measures.
Read more about the Needs Assessment Toolkit here.
The International Framework for Action is a technical assistance tool that supports United Nations Member States in the effective implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The Framework is the result of broad participation between anti-trafficking partners including Anti-Slavery International, Council of Europe, ECPAT, IOM, ILO, LEFOE-IBF, OAS, OSCE, Terre des hommes, Johns Hopkins University, UNDAW/DESA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNHCR, UNICRI, OHCHR and UNODC.
The Model Law against Trafficking in Persons has been developed in the framework of the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) to assist States in implementing the provisions contained in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing that Convention. It aims to facilitate the amendment of existing legislation as well as the adoption of new legislation. The Model Law covers not only the criminalization of trafficking in persons and related offences, but also the different aspects of assistance to victims as well as establishing cooperation between different state authorities and NGOs. Each provision is accompanied by a detailed commentary, legal sources and examples, providing several options for legislators, as appropriate.
The Model Law against the Smuggling of Migrants has been developed to assist States in implementing the provisions contained in the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. It aims to facilitate the review and amendment of existing legislation as well as the adoption of new legislation. Each provision is accompanied by a detailed commentary, legal sources and examples, providing several options for legislators, as appropriate.
Read More about the Model Law here.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNODC, in the framework of the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), launched the publication Combating trafficking in persons: A Handbook for Parliamentarians.
As public awareness of human trafficking grows, people are demanding that action be taken to end it. As elected representatives, parliamentarians have a responsibility and the power to ensure that laws and other measures are put in place and implemented to that end. The Handbook is intended to inspire them to enact sound laws and adopt good practices that will strengthen national responses to human trafficking.
"The fact that trafficking in persons occurs today is a horrifying reality. The fact that there is more we could be doing collectively to combat it should be a global call to arms." (UNODC Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons).
The 123 tools contained in the Toolkit offer guidance, recommended resources, and promising practices to policymakers, law enforcers, judges, prosecutors, victim service providers and members of civil society who are working in interrelated spheres towards preventing trafficking, protecting and assisting victims and promoting international cooperation.
To download individual Tools, visit our Online Toolkit.
Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons (1st edition, 2006)
UNODC's Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons provides practical help to Governments, policy-makers, police, NGOs and others to enable them to tackle human trafficking more effectively. The Toolkit details a range of practices and methods currently in use throughout the world such as checklists to help identify trafficking victims as well as guidance on interviewing victims and victim protection. Other tools help police to undertake cross-border investigations and advise government officials on how to ensure the safe repatriation of victims. These and many other current "best practices" are available for immediate use and adaptation worldwide.
Psychosocial Care for Women in Shelter Homes (India, 2011)
UNODC together with NIMHANS developed this manual to be used as resource material for capacity building of staff working in shelter homes for women in India. The recently published manual highlights the specific needs of women in institutions, enables the care givers to understand these needs and gives them an insight into the spectrum of psychosocial interventions. It gives the care givers an understanding of the various laws and policies that are available to safeguard the rights of women in India. It also focuses on the importance of care and stress management of the caregivers themselves. Read the full story of the project here.
UNODC Manuales contra la trata de personas: Impacto en América Central
Tools developed by UNODC within the global programmes on trafficking person and smuggling of migrants are developed in such a way that they are practical and can be used to support the activities against these crimes. They can also serve as basis for adaptation to specific regional requirements an example of such an adaptation are two manuals developed by the UNODC regional office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
The handbook aims to help improve cooperation between criminal justice officials who are involved in cross-border trafficking investigations. It was prepared by technical experts involved in the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIP), through the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (AusAID), and funded by the Australian Government and the European Union, through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on Investigation of Crimes of Trafficking for Forced Labour (2008, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia)
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on Investigating Crimes of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation (2007, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia)
Manual for Training Police on Anti-Human Trafficking (2008, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia)
Training Manual for Prosecutors on Confronting Human Trafficking (2008, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia)
Journey to Justice: Manual on Psychosocial Intervention
Trafficking Women and Children for Sexual Exploitation: Handbook for Law Enforcement Agencies in India (UNIFEM, UNODC 2007)
This publication is disseminated by the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Moldova. For more information, contact:
Mr. Eduard Bulat
Head of Department to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons
General Prosecutor's Office, Republic of Moldova
The UNODC In-Depth Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants is the product of criminal justice expertise gathered from around the world.
The diversity of those involved in the process of elaborating the manual reflects its target audience of criminal justice practitioners including investigators, examining judges, investigating judges, prosecutors, magistrates, law enforcement officers, border agents, and all other professionals who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Read more here.
- Module 1. Understanding migrant smuggling and related conduct
- Module 2. Comparative analysis of migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons
- Module 3. Detecting migrant smuggling
- Module 4. Investigative approaches and the role of the criminal justice practitioner
- Module 5. Risk assessment
- Module 6. Protection and assistance issues
- Module 7. International cooperation in criminal matters
- Module 8. Law enforcement cooperation and information sharing
- Module 9. Intelligence
- Module 10. Covert investigative planning, techniques and tactics
- Module 11. Financial investigations and prosecutions
- Module 12. Crime scene and physical evidence examinations
- Module 13. Debriefing, interviews and testimony
- Module 14. Common legal issues in migrant smuggling investigations and prosecutions
- Module 15. Sentencing
Read more here.
In line with the Trafficking in Persons Protocol supplementing the United Nations Transnational Organised Crime Convention, the purpose of the United Nations Anti-Human Trafficking Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners is to further facilitate the prevention of human trafficking, protection of its victims, prosecution of its culprits and develop international cooperation to achieve these targets.
The manual addresses each phase of the criminal justice response to trafficking in persons, from identification of victims through investigations and prosecutions of trafficking, to the protection of victims. The manual consists of 14 modules that stand alone to meet the specific needs of criminal justice practitioners, and serve as a practical guide towards a more effective criminal justice response to trafficking in persons.
Read more about the Manual and its creation in the Introduction
The wide-circulation modules in the Manual address:
- 1. Definition of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants
- 2. Indicators of trafficking in persons
- 3. Psychological reaction of victims of trafficking in persons
- 4. Control methods in trafficking in persons
- 5. Risk assessment in trafficking in persons investigation
- 6. International cooperation in trafficking in persons cases
- 7. Crime scene and physical evidence examinations in trafficking in persons investigations
- 8. Interviewing victims of trafficking in persons who are potential witnesses
- 9. Interviewing child victims of trafficking in persons
- 10. Interpreters in trafficking in persons investigations
- 11. Victims needs in criminal justice proceedings in trafficking in persons cases
- 12. Protection and assistance to victims-witnesses in trafficking in persons cases
- 13. Compensation for victims of trafficking in persons
- 14. Considerations in sentencing in trafficking in persons cases
The restricted-circulation modules in the Manual which are not publicly available, address:
- Module 8: Joint investigation techniques in trafficking in persons cases
- Module 9: Information and intelligence in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 10: Specialist techniques in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 11: Surveillance in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 12: Undercover agents in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 13: Communications data in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 14: Communications interception in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 15: Use of informants in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 16: Financial investigations in trafficking in persons cases
- Module 17: Crime scene and physical evidence examinations in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 18: Document recognition in trafficking in persons investigations
- Module 24: Countering common defense strategies in trafficking in persons
To request for restricted content please visit the request page .
Conceptualized as a 'practical guide for law enforcement and prosecution on migrant smuggling', the overall goal of the
Basic Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants is to build the capacity of criminal justice practitioners to dismantle the criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling, secure the conviction of the criminals involved, raise awareness among criminal justice practitioners on the criminal nature of migrant smuggling, and improve cooperation between origin, transit, and destination countries. The Training Modules are designed to be used in the context of delivering technical assistance through training law enforcers and prosecutors on effective investigation and prosecution of migrant smuggling cases. The Modules are written in such a way that they can be readily adapted to the needs of different regions and countries, and can serve as the basis for upgrading or supplementing training programs of national training institutes.
Read more about the Manual and its development here.
The Modules in the Manual:
- Module 1. Concepts and categories of the smuggling of migrants and related conduct
- Module 2. Role of smuggled migrants and smugglers of migrants in investigations- This Module is not publicly available
- Module 3. Investigative approaches - This Module is not publicly available
- Module 4. Financial investigation - This Module is not publicly available
- Module 5. Covert investigative techniques - This Module is not publicly available
- Module 6. Intelligence - This Module is not publicly available
- Module 7. Legislative issues
- Module 8. International cooperation
- Module 9. Human rights
Annex I. Witness statement
Annes II. Planning and strategizing
To request for restricted content please visit the request page .
Training Manual: Assistance for the Implementation of the ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons
The Meeting of ECOWAS Heads of States, in December 2001, adopted a Declaration and the ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons (2002-2003). It directed the ECOWAS Executive Secretarian to prepare proposals for controlling trafficking in persons in the sub-region, with special consideration to the situation of children.
Training Manual: Assistance for the Implementation of the ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons presents the definitions of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants as well as general guidelines on investigation and prosecution of cases related to trafficking in human beings, with a focus on cooperation between ECOWAS Member States. This Manual is to be used as a reference material and in training activities.
A 2007 publication of UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, compiled by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, India, with the help of police agencies of various states.
A 2008 publication of UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, highlights successful initiatives of NGOs and their partners from other sectors with respect to the prevention of human trafficking, the protection of its victims and the prosecution of its culprits.
A course and curriculum on combating human trafficking was developed as a joint initiative of UNODC, the Moldovan National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the OSCE Mission to Moldova. The course, designed for judges and prosecutors, comprises two sections.
The first section concerns substantive law and the second concerns procedural law. The former section addresses issues related to the definition of human trafficking in criminal law and the differences between human trafficking and related crimes. This section also address root causes of human trafficking, victim identification and methods to combat and prevent human trafficking.
The second section on procedural law addresses the competencies of agencies involved in preventing and combating human trafficking, specific features of the investigation process in cases of human trafficking, collaboration between different agencies involved in investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases, and international cooperation.
On 24 November 2014, UNODC launched its new Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.
The Global Report 2014 provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based on trafficking cases detected between 2010 and 2012 (or more recent). The Country Profiles of the Global Report present a national level analysis for each of the 128 countries covered by this edition of the report.
For more information about the report, including the executive summary and individual country profiles, click here.
On 10 December 2012, UNODC launched the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.
The Global Report 2012 provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based on trafficking cases detected between 2007 and 2010 (or more recent). The report also includes a chapter on the worldwide response to trafficking in persons. The Country Profiles of the Global Report present a national level analysis for each of the 132 countries covered by this edition of the report.
The Executive Summary of the Global Report is available in:
The following individual country profiles can be downloaded:
Or download the full version of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.
For more information about the report, click here
Migrant Smuggling in Asia - A Thematic Review of Literature (2012)
Against a backdrop of limited information on migrant smuggling and irregular migration in Asia, UNODC launched two reports which, for the very first time, consolidate existing research literature on migrant smuggling in 14 countries across Asia.
The reports, Migrant Smuggling in Asia: A Thematic Review of Literature and the accompanying Annotated Bibliography, provide a systematic review of available empirical knowledge on smuggling of migrants. These resources identify gaps in what is known about the smuggling of migrants around, in and out of Asia into Europe, North America and Australia and the Pacific.
Read more here.
The role of organized crime in the smuggling of migrants from West Africa to the European Union (2011)
This report investigates the involvement of organized criminal groups in the smuggling of migrants from West Africa to the European Union (EU). The publication contributes to improving the understanding of underlying mechanisms and actors involved in this criminal process as a basis for policy reforms in countries affected. Information in the report was compiled by a team of researchers from West Africa and Europe using both documentary studies, and field research conducted in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Spain.
Legal and Policy Review: Responses to Human Trafficking in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka (2011)
There is a need to examine country specific laws to understand where the gaps in responses lie, and also, how Member States in South Asia can be assisted to fill those gaps. In this regard, a legal and policy review of responses to human trafficking in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka was commissioned jointly by UNODC and UN WOMEN, under the UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT).
Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have all taken steps in the right direction to combat human trafficking; however, there is a need to look closely at country specific laws to understand where the gaps lie. It is in the light of this, that a Legal and Policy Review of Responses to Human Trafficking has been taken up. The Report looks at the law and policy, especially in the context of the Protocol, supplementing work already available in different studies.
Smuggling of migrants into, through and from North Africa: A thematic review and annotated bibliography of recent publications (2010)
The publication "Smuggling of migrants into, through and from North Africa: A thematic review and annotated bibliography of recent publications" is the second in a series of unique publications produced by UNODC. Recognizing, however, that irregular migration and smuggling flows are transnational in nature, the review goes beyond North Africa, to also cover sub- Saharan African and European countries affected along the various smuggling routes. The aim of the review is twofold: to describe major findings on smuggling of migrants; into, through and from North Africa, and to highlight the need for further research on specific issues that have not yet been studied.
The thematic review identifies several key areas requisite to understand, address and criminalize migrant smuggling. The literature reviewed is divided into thematic chapters including: quantifying irregular migration and smuggling of migrants, migrant smuggling routes, profiles and characteristics of smuggled migrants, smuggler-migrant relationships, organizational structures of migrant-smuggling routes, modus operandi of migrant smugglers, smugglers fees and the human and social costs of smuggling. Finally, the publication is complemented by an annotated bibliography of the reviewed literature.
To download the Thematic Review, click here
For more information about the Thematic Review, click here
The Global Review and Annotated Bibliography of Recent Publications on Smuggling of Migrants (Global Review) (2010)
UNODC is currently developing and implementing a number of new projects to assess and counter the various threats posed by human smuggling. To do so effectively, and to learn from already existing research on migrant smuggling for current and future programme design, it is imperative to gain an overview of the current state of knowledge on the subject by consolidating the existing literature on the subject in one comprehensive and informative document. The Global Review and Annotated Bibliography of Recent Publications on Smuggling of Migrants responds to this need by surveying existing sources and research papers on migrant smuggling, to provide a summary of knowledge, and identify gaps based on the most recent and relevant research available on migrant smuggling from a worldwide perspective.
To download the Global Review, click here
To download the Executive Summary, click here
For more information about the Global Review, click here
Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region: State and Civil Society Cooperation on Victims Assistance and Protection (2010)
On the 31st May 2010 UNODC and the Council of the Baltic Sea States Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings (CBSS TF-THB) successfully completed the joint "Regional Project on Fostering Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) - Law Enforcement Cooperation in Preventing and Combating Human Trafficking in, from and to the Baltic Sea Region." The result of the research carried out is the publication of a comprehensive regional assessment report entitled Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region: State and Civil Society Cooperation on Victims Assistance and Protection.
To download the Report, click here
For more information about Report, click here
Background paper for the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, held in Vienna from 13 to 15 February 2008, exploring the Forum's three central themes of vulnerability, impact and action.
On 12 February 2009, UNODC launched the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.
Based on data gathered from 155 countries, it offers the first global assessment of the scope of human trafficking and what is being done to fight it. It includes: an overview of trafficking patterns; legal steps taken in response; and country-specific information on reported cases of trafficking in persons, victims, and prosecutions.
The Executive Summary of the Global Report is available in:
To download the executive summary in all languages click here
The following individual regional profiles can be downloaded:
- Central America and the Caribbeans
- East Africa
- East Asia and the Pacific
- Eastern Europe and Central Asia
- Middle East and North Africa
- North America
- South America
- South West Asia
- Southern Africa
- West and Central Africa
- Western and Central Europe
Or download the full version of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.
For more information about the report, click here
This manual provides comprehensive background information on the international and national legal framework governing the response to trafficking in persons. It draws on examples of good practices, including model laws, from around the world to present practical recommendations to parliamentarians in Afghanistan to serve as a guide in the process to more effectively combat trafficking in persons. Contributory material to this manual has been sourced and adapted from various material, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UN.GIFT publication: "Combating Trafficking in Persons: A Handbook for Parliamentarians".
Regional assessment on penal prosecution capacities to investigate trafficking in persons in Central America
The aim of this study, developed by UNODC Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, in collaboration with the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD, San José, Costa Rica) is to asses the political, legal, financial, institutional and technical conditions of those institutions in charge of investigating, prosecuting and judging trafficking in persons, as well as providing recommendations to overcome any obstacles in those areas.
The main findings of the assessment (lack of knowledge of investigative techniques and of mutual legal assistance procedures, confusion between trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, among others) have served as primary inputs for the specialized training manual that this regional project elaborated, and that is being validated through national workshops in each signatory country (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama).
The aim of this study, commissioned by UNODC Regional Office for South Asia in collaboration with the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi is to assess the current extent and scope of irregular migration from Tamil Nadu with the objective of improving evidence-based knowledge on the profile of irregular migrants, the modus operandi of agents, the countries to which migration is destined, and the government response to curbing irregular migration.
This report concludes a study into the scope and magnitude of irregular migration from the northern states of Punjab and Haryana in India. The study was based on law enforcement authority records, discussion with officials, public representatives, extensive field visits in districts of Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur of Punjab and interviews with a large number of respondents, including irregular migrants and their family members, co-villagers of irregular migrants, agents involved in migrant smuggilng and police officers who investigated cases against agents.
Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns
(Please note that country profiles are contained within the report appendices).
"The fact that slavery - in the form of human trafficking - still exists in the 21st century shames us all. Governments, international organizations and civil society are devoting considerable efforts to counter it, but there is still an information deficit about the extent of this tragedy. Only by understanding its depth, breadth and scope can we design policies to fight it. This understanding still eludes us: efforts to counter trafficking have so far been uncoordinated and inefficient. This Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is our first attempt to close the knowledge gap." From the Foreword by Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa
Model Guide on Strengthening National Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking (2009)
The Model Guide on Strengthening National Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking developed by UNODC in partnership with International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, provides a practical, user friendly, regional reference on strengthening criminal justice response in the field of counter-trafficking that is based upon a commitment to implement the relevant UN Conventions and Protocols. The guide serves to encourage and guide further actions taken by the states, UNODC or other international agencies. The intention of the Model Guide is to contribute at enhancement of cooperation in the counter-trafficking activities of professionals in Black Sea Region and to develop their ability to work jointly with each other at the international level.
An Assessment of Referral Practices to Assist and Protect the Rights of Trafficked Persons in Moldova (May 2007)
Measures to combat trafficking in human beings in Benin, Nigeria and Togo (September 2006)
A 2005 situational assessment of human trafficking in SADC countries. A survey of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique (December 2007)
A 2005 Assessment of the Laws and Measures relevant to Human Trafficking in selected SADC countries. A survey of Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe (November 2007)
Human Trafficking in Lebanon - Measures to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings: Lebanon country assessment (May 2008)
Assessment of the Legal System in Vietnam in comparison with the United Nations Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (April 2004)
Synergy in Action: Protocol on the Structure and Function of the Integrated Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (IAHTU) in India (2007, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia)
Protocol on Inter-State Rescues and Post-Rescue Activities Relating to Persons Trafficked for Commercial Exploitation (2007, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia)
Resource Book on the Legal Framework on Anti-Human Trafficking (India, 2008, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia)
The purpose of this issue paper is to clarify the key concept of consent in the definition of trafficking in persons contained in Article 3 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol. Drawing on interviews with practitioners from 12 States (Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, Norway, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America) and finalized with input received during an expert group meeting, the issue paper aims to assist criminal justice officers in penal proceedings.
Issue Paper: Corruption and the Smuggling of Migrants (2013)
Corruption often undermines national and international efforts to prevent and control the crime of smuggling of migrants, just as it affects the response to other forms of transnational crime such as trafficking in persons, in firearms, and in narcotics. Organized criminal groups make frequent use of the presence of corruption, often together with intimidation and violence, to facilitate their migrant smuggling operations. Migrant smuggling can generate large revenues that smugglers in turn can use to bribe officials and buy their complicity. Criminal organizations take advantage of systems of immigration control, border protection and public security that are weakened by corruption.
This issue paper aims to assist policy makers and practitioners in preventing and addressing corruption related to migrant smuggling operations.
Issue Paper: Abuse of a Position of Vulnerability and other "Means" Within
the Definition of Trafficking in Persons (2012)
The purpose of this issue paper is to clarify the key concept of abuse of a position of vulnerability as a means of the crime of trafficking in persons in the definition contained in Article 3 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol. Drawing on interviews with practitioners from 12 States (Canada, Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, India, Mexico, Netherlands (the), Nigeria, Republic of Moldova (the), Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the), and United States of America (the)), and finalized with input received during an expert group meeting, two products were developed, the issue paper and a corresponding Guidance Note that aims to assist criminal justice officers in penal proceedings.
The purpose of this Issue Paper is to capture expertise from a range of experiences of both countries of origin, countries of transit, and countries of destination for the purpose of increasing understanding of the issue and the challenge of addressing it. The overall goal of the issue paper is to provide a global perspective on the issue of migrant smuggling by sea, examining the framework in which it is addressed, the key challenges inherent therein, and to recommend concrete measures that can be taken to strengthen response in this respect.
Issue Paper: Transnational Organized Crime in the Fishing Industry - Focus on Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants, Illicit Drugs Trafficking (2011)
This Issue Paper poses the questions whether there is transnational organized crime and other criminal activity in the fishing industry, and if so, what the vulnerabilities of the fishing industry are to transnational organized crime or other criminal activity. Importantly, the study did not set out to tarnish the fishing industry. Rather, the study sought to determine whether criminal activities take place within the fishing industry to the detriment of law-abiding fishers, the legitimate fishing industry, local fishing communities and the general public alike.
This paper seeks to outline patterns of corruption in trafficking in persons; provide a description of relevant international legal instruments, and outline some practical guidance on what can be done to address the issue of corruption in human trafficking. In an attempt to keep its scope within reasonable limits, the paper focuses mostly on corruption of public officials, and in particular, of law enforcement and criminal justice actors.
This Issue Paper offers a brief overview of the crime of migrant smuggling. It explains aspects of the crime as defined in the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (Smuggling of Migrants Protocol) supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The paper also explores how the crime of migrant smuggling is committed, the roles played by individual criminal actors in the process ,and explains the difference between migrant smuggling and the distinct but related crime of human trafficking.
This Issue Paper is the result of an expert group meeting held in Vienna in December 2009, which brought together expert practitioners from all over the world. This Issue Paper explores the particular modus operandi of smuggling migrants by air and touches upon the various challenges involved in addressing this issue. The paper also offers some recommendations about strengthening and coordinating response to this issue.
For Fact-Sheets of the Global Migration Group, click here.
UNODC, through the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP) of the Ghent University in Belgium, carried out a study on the links between organized crime, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The objective of this exercise was to provide insight into what is known on the involvement of organized crime in trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants cases. Developing appropriate criminal justice responses to combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants as forms of organized crime requires a knowledge-based response.
This paper addresses principles on the prohibition of exploitation and slavery in both International and Islamic law, as well as principles providing protection for its victims. The paper is targeted both at Islamic practitioners who want to learn more about combating human trafficking and also at anti-trafficking practitioners wanting to learn more about Islamic law.
To read more about this paper, click here
An Introduction to Human Trafficking: Vulnerability, Impact and Action
Impact of the economic crisis on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling (2009)
Criminal Justice Responses to Human Trafficking (2008)
From Protection to Prosecution - A strategic approach (2008)
Supply management, Eliminating the Risks of Forced Labour and Trafficking (2008)
Human Trafficking for the Removal of Organs and Body Parts (2008)
The Role of the Media in Building Images (2008)
Profiling the Traffickers (2008)
Technology and Human Trafficking (2008)
The Role of Employers' Organizations, Businesses and Trade Unions in Combating Trafficking for Labour Exploitation (2008)
Corruption and Human Trafficking: The Grease that Facilitates the Crime (2008)
The Effectiveness of Legal Frameworks and Anti-Trafficking Legislation (2008)
Quantifying Human Trafficking: It's Impact and the Responses to it (2008)
Transnational Organized Crime: Impact from Source to Destination (2008)
ICAT: Preventing Trafficking in Persons by Addressing Demand (2014)
The Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) published its second policy paper entitled Preventing trafficking in persons by addressing demand . The paper provides guidance to organizations and practitioners by mapping out the dimensions of demand as it relates specifically to trafficking in persons for labour exploitation, as well as by highlighting strategies that can be used to address it.
The paper examines six main strategies to address demand in a trafficking in persons context, which are further detailed with concrete steps that can be taken by different actors to effectively reduce demand.
GMG Thematic Paper on the Exploitation and Abuse of International Migrants, particularly those in an Irregular Situation - A Human Rights Approach (2013)
The thematic paper is a result of UNODC's chairmanship of the Global Migration Group, an inter-agency group bringing together UN and other international agencies on the issue of international migration. The preparation of the thematic paper was led by UNODC in consultation with experts from GMG member agencies. The objective of the thematic paper is to contribute to better conceptual and policy coherence in mounting a human rights response to the exploitation of migrants. The paper aims to fill the lack of harmonised understanding of the concept of exploitation, while promoting the principle that exploited migrants are entitled to protection and assistance, irrespective of their migration status, and in respect of their human rights.
ICAT: The International Legal Frameworks concerning Trafficking in Persons (2012)
The first ICAT issue paper, titled the International Legal Frameworks concerning Trafficking in Persons, is first of a series of five ICAT issue papers to be published over the course of 2012 and 2013. The paper characterizes key related elements of the anti-trafficking response today, highlights assumed features that still require development and recommends a number of prioritized actions to bring to bear provisions and legal obligations from different bodies of law and legal instruments that are relevant to the task of preventing human trafficking, protecting victims, and prosecuting perpetrators.
ICAT: The next decade: Promoting common priorities and greater coherence in the fight against human trafficking - An Overview Paper (2012)
The ICAT Working Group decided to publish a series of five issue papers over course of 2012 and 2013. Each issue paper will examine one key issue that has been identified and agreed by ICAT member organisations as a critical challenge to address for the international community to succeed in the fight against trafficking in persons in the coming decade. This document, launched in May 2012 in New York at an event hosted by ICAT and co-sponsored by the Mission of Sweden together with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), provides an introduction to each of the five key challenges identified.
ICAT: An Analytical Review: 10 years on from the adoption of the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol (2010)
In October 2010, the international community, in the fifth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols (CTOC/COP) commemorated the 10 year anniversary of the adoption of the Convention and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children by the United Nations General Assembly. The purpose of this document is to, first, provide an overview of the mandates of the member organizations of ICAT. Second, the document provides, from key agencies, an analytical review of where the international community now stands 10 years on from the adoption of the Trafficking Protocol. Finally, the document provides a view to the future with the proposal by particular agencies of concrete recommendations for future action.
Leaflet (pdf) about UNODC's Global Programmes against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (2011)
Leaflet (pdf) about Trafficking in Persons
Leaflet (pdf) about Human Trafficking Indicators
Leaflet (pdf) about Smuggling of Migrants
Leaflet (pdf) about UNODC's Global Programme Against Trafficking in Persons (2008)
Video and Audio
To watch and listen to UNODC's multimedia material (training films, public service announcements, interviews, conferences...) about human trafficking, visit our human trafficking video and audio page.
Download the Catalogue of Materials as PDF.