Justice and Care experts attend OSCE conference in Vienna

April 28, 2023

Justice and Care was delighted to host two side events at a global gathering showcasing positive examples of leadership and path-breaking in combating human trafficking.

Anti-trafficking leaders were brought together at the 23rd Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons, organised by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The event was attended by representatives from 57 OSCE participating states, major international organisations and NGOs and members of the media, private sector and academia – highlighting ‘how true success comes from collaboration’.

Hosted in Vienna on April 18 and 19, panels were assembled to consider why strong leadership is needed to overcome the harrowing scale of human exploitation.

The event focused on establishing the core building blocks of an effective national response. Groundbreaking laws and policies were delved into, and systems and areas where change is needed were pinpointed.

The conference also saw a speech from former UK Prime Minister Theresa May and included a discussion on anti-trafficking leadership led by survivors.

Our experts co-organised two of the four side events, which gave us an opportunity to share projects we are proud of.

The Global Consortium on Prosecuting Human Trafficking

One interactive workshop, hosted in partnership with the McCain Institute and our Global Experts Consortium for Prosecuting Human Trafficking, discussed the non-punishment principle – including how to ensure victims who are forced into committing crimes by their traffickers are not prosecuted or otherwise punished.

This gathering focused on identifying and analysing current and emerging policies and practices related to the doctrine of non-punishment of victims of human trafficking. 

The Global Consortium on Prosecuting Human Trafficking was created by Justice and Care and the McCain Institute at Arizona State University to bring together top prosecutors to discuss their work on human trafficking and forced labour cases. 

This group, made of experts from 18 countries, convenes regularly for action-oriented conversations on trends and challenges, successes and failures, and best practices.

Nicole Munns, Justice and Care’s International Systemic Change Director, said: ‘This discussion provided us with an excellent opportunity to give attention to this important principle of non-punishment, while highlighting in an international forum the value of bringing together expert human trafficking prosecutors from across the globe to inform best practice.’

Victim Navigator Programme 

Justice and Care’s second side event detailed our award-winning Victim Navigator Programme in an effort to show how a victim-centered approach can be strengthened through identification and assistance, investigation, prosecution and aftercare.

The Victim Navigator Programme sees specialist workers embedded in the heart of police forces – directly supporting victims of trafficking and helping them to both navigate the criminal justice system and rebuild their lives. 

They also provide specialist tactical knowledge into cases and train officers on the issue.  

The programme fills a vital gap in victim care, which is critical in helping to ensure investigations are successful, particularly given the complex nature of the crime.

In the UK, estimates suggest 44% of survivors without a Victim Navigator engage with the criminal justice process compared to 92% survivors with a Victim Navigator.

Justice and Care’s Director of European Operations, Cristina Huddleston, said the OSCE conference was ‘not only a celebration of best practices and models of co-operating, but also a reminder that we can’t do it alone’.

She added: We need the political support, the criminal justice support, the survivor support, our community support, business support.

‘This crime can be fought more effectively when we target it together.’