The UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database in the News


UNV Annual Report, 2013 


UN Online Volunteers are assisting the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to expand the Human Trafficking Case Law Database. The database is the only global public record of information on human trafficking crimes and is vital to raise visibility and identify global patterns. UN Online Volunteers with a legal background translate and summarize human trafficking cases to be included in the growing database.

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The American Lawyer, 2013


In early 2012 the United Nations was searching for real-life stories of trafficked persons who made their way through the courts. But there were none in clear view. "While people talk a lot about criminal trafficking, even we couldn't find concrete examples," says Martin Fowke of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. "We could find arrest and conviction numbers, but there was nothing behind them." So the U.N. leaned on White & Case for help. To the firm, building a globe-straddling database of human trafficking law was a longsought opportunity. "We had been hoping for many years to truly use our global network on a pro bono matter," says Someera Khokhar, a finance partner who is active in pro bono. "Then this came across my desk." On November 9, 2011, Khokhar sent out an all-points recruiting email. Within 48 hours, she had some 200 volunteers from 26 White & Case offices.

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UNV Online Volunteering Service: Newsletter July 2013

Online volunteers are among the diverse contributors - governments, law schools, non-governmental organizations, national trafficking coordinators, as well as law firms - to assist the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the expansion of the Human Trafficking Case Law Database. They translate and summarize human trafficking cases to be included in the growing database, which currently counts around 900 cases from 76 countries.

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White & Case: 2012 Social Responsibility Review

When the opportunity came to help the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) develop a global database of human trafficking cases, we sent an email to all our lawyers and within 48 hours we had something like 200 volunteers. For the research on protection for domestic workers in seven countries, Pro Bono Leaders were enthusiastic and signed up people in their offices very quickly. There was enormous interest.

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Lawyers Without Borders: Border Briefs Volume 9 Issue 3, Fall 2012

LWOB in-house Attorney Dan Foster was invited to participate in the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Expert Group Meeting on the Further Development of the UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database. He was joined at the two-day Vienna meeting by a White&Case lawyer from their Bucharest, Romania office. This is all part of a two year White&Case project with the UNODC, facilitated by LWOB.

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La Strada International: Newsletter Issue 25, June 2012

The lack of reliable and detailed information on (successful) criminal cases against traffickers has for a long time been a major shortcoming in the international fight against human trafficking. As the prosecution of traffickers have proven to be a difficult and often long process, it is of utmost importance that good practices are shared and prosecutors, lawyers and judges can learn from international experiences. UNODC has developed a human trafficking case law database that provides immediate, public access to officially documented court cases on human trafficking of this crime.

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Lawyers Without Borders: Border Briefs Volume 8 Issue 1, March 2011

On February 21-22, 2011, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted an expert group meeting (EGM) to gather input for the development of a database of prosecutions and convictions of trafficking in persons. Senior Counsel Dan Foster attended on behalf of Lawyers Without Borders as part of LWOB's ongoing work on trafficking in persons. The purpose of the database is to assist countries in meeting their obligations under the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, a supplement to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

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Shearman & Sterling LLP: Newsletter No. 1, 2009


In the summer of 2007, Shearman & Sterling was asked to assist the UNODC with a project in support of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. The Convention includes three Protocols, one of which is the "Protocol to Suppress, Prevent and Punish the Trafficking of Persons, Especially Women and Children." The protocol is the foremost international agreement criminalizing human trafficking. To help countries implement this protocol and to raise greater international awareness about the realities of human trafficking, the UNODC set out to create a database of documented court cases.

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