Using the law to combat human trafficking in Southeast Asia

by TrustLaw
Tuesday, 4 August 2015 11:55 GMT

There are an estimated 21,000,000 slaves in the world and less than 10,000 reported prosecutions in 2013. Asia accounts for at least 30% of revenue generated from the human trafficking industry.

TrustLaw partnered with Liberty Asia, Amauta Asia (Cambodia), White & Case (China), Morley, Chow & Seto (Hong Kong), Christopher Lee & Ong (Malaysia), Rajah & Tann (Myanmar), Clifford Chance (Thailand) and Grűnkorn & Partner Law (Vietnam) to produce a report which highlights a range of offenses that can occur in a human trafficking situations, such as assault, sexual violence, employment, and immigration law breaches.

“Our legal team was just too small. There was no way we could do research on different jurisdictions ourselves” Archana Kotecha, Head of Legal at Liberty Asia

The purpose of the report is to provide a tool to educate front-line NGOs and legal service providers on the myriad of laws that are breached in different trafficking scenarios. It is particularly useful because the report offers a comparative view of different jurisdictions in the region.

The comparative analysis paints a mixed picture of some jurisdictions, for example in Thailand, armed with stronger legal frameworks than other jurisdiction does not guarantee better prosecution and protection for human trafficking offenses.

“Apart from the educational value, Liberty Asia intends to use the research as an advocacy tool. With our network of first line responders across the region we are uniquely placed to cascade this information to relevant parties and make a difference.” Archana Kotecha, Head of Legal at Liberty Asia

The report was launched at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Women conference.

Read more here.


This project has been nominated for the 2015 TrustLaw Innovation Award. Learn more about the TrustLaw Awards.