UNODC expands key legal database to help improve human trafficking convictions

Photo: UNODC30 April 2014 - UNODC's Human Trafficking Case Law Database - a key tool to combat this global crime - has reached an important milestone two and a half years since its launch: it now includes detailed information on more than 1,000 trafficking cases from 83 countries. Such tools are crucial in order to increase the visibility of successful human trafficking prosecutions and convictions, helping law enforcement and justice practitioners from across the world working on human trafficking cases.

Human trafficking occurs all over the world with millions of victims being exploited by criminals. Yet, conviction rates of human trafficking remain low. The 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons showed that, between 2007 and 2010, of the 132 countries covered, 16 per cent did not record a single conviction and 23 per cent recorded between 1 and 10 convictions for trafficking offences. By making available information on successful prosecutions and convictions from countries all over the world, UNODC aims to increase the capacity of States to investigate, prosecute and punish this shameful crime.

The Human Trafficking Case Law Database is a publicly available global case repository which includes summaries and full court documents of trafficking cases. It serves as an essential resource for criminal justice practitioners and anti-trafficking professionals to consult the different approaches taken in countries to fight human trafficking, and to improve understanding of its trends and patterns.

When launched in October 2011, the database provided information on 250 cases from 28 jurisdictions. As a result of continued cooperation with a broad range of actors, including non-governmental organizations, universities, and commercial law firms, the Human Trafficking Case Law Database has since grown into a truly global collection of cases, and can now better than ever serve its purpose of helping practitioners in their daily work.

The Human Trafficking Case Law Database still continues to expand, with 50-80 new cases from 10 jurisdictions to be uploaded online in the coming months. The tool is currently available in English, and partially available in Spanish and French. Visit the UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database here. For those who wish to contribute new cases, please contact htmss [at]

Further information:

UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database

UNODC on Human Trafficking

UNODC's anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling Tools and Publications