Bringing together leading prosecutors from across the globe

February 16, 2023

Last week, seventeen leading prosecutors from around the world were in London in a bid to boost global conviction rates for human traffickers. 

Despite global estimates putting the number of victims of modern slavery at 50 million, only around 5,000 of those responsible are found guilty each year. It is the fastest growing crime in the world, worth an estimated $150 billion a year and is known by criminals to provide high returns for low risk. 

To help combat the issue, Justice and Care and the McCain Institute developed the concept of The Global Consortium on Prosecuting Human Trafficking. The idea is to bring together expert prosecutors on the issue to learn and share best practice – alongside other organisations including UNODC, OSCE and Interpol. After a series of online gatherings of the consortium, last week marked the first time the prosecutors from five continents have met in person. 

As well as spending time together discussing challenges and solutions and opportunities to work together on transnational cases, the prosecutors were also addressed by the former UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, and by High Court Judge, Dame Mary Stacey, at the Royal Courts of Justice. They also took part in workshops on trauma-informed prosecutions and worked through case studies together.

Theresa May addressing the group

Nicole Munns, from Justice and Care, says the importance of the consortium cannot be overstated: ‘The number of successful prosecutions is painfully low. It is a notoriously difficult crime to investigate. What we’ve seen is that prosecutors across the world are experiencing very similar challenges to each other. If we can find solutions together to overcome them, and then share this knowledge and best practice, we hope to make it much more likely that those responsible will be brought to justice.’ 

Kristen Abrams from the McCain Institute says the week was inspirational. ‘The event has been everything we had hoped for and more. To see the engagement of the prosecutors, to hear them sharing best practice and talking about how this group can come together to advance justice for human trafficking survivors  was so encouraging. We are looking forward to seeing where this leads.’