Maria Joao Guia
Following the drafting of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, 2005, it would seem that a more victim focussed, victim-centric approach is being taken toward the individuals who fall foul of this transnational phenomenon than previously has been the case. The more encompassing provisions of this Convention, when compared to the somewhat weak provisions enshrined in the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, 2000, provide for various bespoke rights such as rest an recovery periods and temporary residence permits for those subject to its provisions.
Of particular note is Article 26 of the Convention, which provides for ‘non-punishment’ of victims where their involvement in unlawful activities can be attributed to the fact that they have been trafficked; namely, that they were compelled to commit the relevant offence in the course of/as a result of having been trafficked. This provision of the Convention is drafted in non-binding terms, and therefore ratifying States can decide exactly how they wish to proceed on this particular matter. Non-punishment can only be actively considered if the individual in question has at least been identified as a putative victim of trafficking – identification being dealt with by Article 10 of the Convention.
The United Kingdom has within its anti-trafficking framework a National referral Mechanism for the identification of victims, and two Crown Prosecution Service Protocols, which provide for prosecutorial discretion where victims of human trafficking have committed criminal offences as result of having been trafficked. This paper aims to analyse, through the lens of both the UK’s implementation of the Article 10 and 26 provisions, and a series of recent case law decisions of the domestic Courts, the applicability of both the Convention and these Protocols to victims of human trafficking in order to determine whether such individuals in in fact being properly treated as victims, or as criminals.
Guia, M. J., & Elliott, J. (2015). Foreword. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-09441-0
|Journal Article Type||Editorial|
|Publication Date||Jan 1, 2015|
|Journal||The Illegal Business of Human Trafficking|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
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