Top human trafficking prosecutors unite in bid to boost global conviction rates

March 6, 2024

A group of leading prosecutors from across the globe have met in Nairobi to learn from each other in an effort to bolster global human trafficking conviction rates.

The Global Consortium on Prosecuting Human Trafficking was created by Justice and Care and the McCain Institute in 2021, in response to the shockingly low number of exploiters who are punished for their crimes.

There are an estimated 50 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, more than any other time in history – but only around 5,000 convictions each year.

Global convictions for modern slavery have dropped by 38% since 2015, despite the number of victims identified growing by 36% over the same period, according to the US State Department.

The Consortium meets regularly to discuss, learn and share best practice – alongside other organisations including UNODC, OSCE, Interpol and the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Office.

Building on a series of online gatherings, last week marked the second time the prosecutors from five continents have met in-person. 

As well discussing challenges and solutions associated with human trafficking cases, the group explored what justice for survivors and best practice survivor engagement looks like. 

Justice and Care was particularly grateful to welcome participants with lived experience of exploitation to meet with prosecutors. They offered an important reminder that for many survivors, justice is care, alongside prosecutions and convictions.

At the gathering, we also examined how to bolster legal frameworks, enhance investigative techniques, and empower prosecutors with the tools they need to dismantle trafficking networks and safeguard vulnerable communities.

Nicole Munns, International Systemic Change Director at Justice and Care, has said the importance of the Consortium cannot be overstated.

‘The Summit last week in Nairobi marked a significant step forward as we join forces with Human Trafficking prosecutors from across the globe to combat the world’s fastest growing crime’, she said. 

‘We commend the unwavering commitment, skill and expertise of these prosecutors, and of specialist advisers who participate in the Consortium, as they seek to share their collective expertise to deliver justice.’