Published in May 2019
This module is a resource for lecturers
This section contains suggestions for in-class and pre-class educational exercises, while a post-class assignment for assessing student understanding of the Module is suggested in a separate section.
Exercise 1 - Module participation through discussion
Case studies rarely document any linkages with cybercrime or use of technology, so students should be encouraged to access the UNODC SHERLOC Case Law Database and discuss key issues.
It may be helpful to set research tasks relating to the following questions:
- What roles can technology play in smuggling and/or trafficking?
- How might victim autonomy be affected by the taking of data by perpetrators or investigators?
- What is the human trafficking referral mechanism in your jurisdiction?
- What mechanisms are there for non-prosecution or non-punishment of human trafficking victims in your jurisdiction?
- What are the investigative approaches available in your jurisdiction to include any restrictions on sting operations or international cooperation?
- What are the emerging technological trends in the context of trafficking and/or smuggling?
- What financial issues can be identified?
Exercise 2 - Debates
Debate whether cybercrime law should be a decision for individual jurisdictions against the background of existing human rights instruments or a topic for a new global convention.
Debate whether data and privacy issues should be ignored to enable the collection of biometric data from victims of trafficking or smuggled migrants who cross borders.
Exercise 3 - Problem solving questions
Online fraud problem (the context of "fraud" can be adapted to consider sex or labour trafficking)
A global fraud is conducted by the purchase of domain names and the use of websites to attract investors for shares and commodities.
- Fraudulent company documents are obtained in jurisdiction A and used to open bank accounts in jurisdiction B.
- A website is built in jurisdiction C which attracts global investors.
- Telephone calls are diverted to a call centre in jurisdiction C. Here, call handlers give investors pre-set advice. Requests to speak to management and supervisors are diverted using encrypted technology to those further up the chain of command, also in jurisdiction C.
- Investors in jurisdictions D to Z are provided with documentation by email (connected to the domain).
- Investors send their money by bank transfer to the bank accounts opened in jurisdiction B. Investors are periodically sent updates on their investment and contacted to make further 'purchases' from time to time. The documentation is prepared and the emails are sent from jurisdiction C.
No investment is ever made. All levels of communication are fraudulent. By the time of discovery, all money has disappeared from the bank account. Workers recruited to carry out the tasks in jurisdiction C work for very low wages in "sweat shop"-like conditions. Some are smuggled migrants.
This is a complex legal problem which is suggested to be used as a discussion problem. Students break out into three groups and brainstorm the links between cybercrime and trafficking or smuggling in this context:
- Investigators - how technology is used and how it might be used to investigate.
- Prosecutors - issues of jurisdiction and cooperation.
- Defence advocates - how might technology be used in defence enquiries.
Live streaming online abuse problem
Imagine the above scenario but this time in the context of distribution of online abuse involving the live streaming of child sexual abuse. One additional problem is that once the live stream ceases there is no content, so proof is lost.
Answer the following questions:
- Does live streaming fall within the definition of human trafficking?
- How can the offence be investigated and proven?
- How can the children be located and protected?
- What emerging trends are there in investigative techniques?
Trafficking / Smuggling Problem
Jane takes drugs from country A to country B. She is apprehended at the border and indicates that she has been deceived by a recruiter for work as a maid. She says she has no idea the bag she was given contained drugs. She thought it was her maid's uniform. She is vulnerable and from a deprived background in a source country for victims of trafficking.
Have your students answer the following questions: What role can technology play
- in the control and exploitation of Jane,
- in the investigation of such a crime and
- for the protection of Jane as a victim of human trafficking.
Second, answer as if Jane has not carried drugs, but has instead been smuggled across a border and apprehended by State authorities. How can technology help the investigation of this crime?
Next: Possible class structure