UNODC announces Thai Case Digest on Evidential Issues in Trafficking in Persons Cases with Court of Justice

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (ROSEAP) has today announced a Thai edition of its Case Digest on Evidential Issues in Trafficking in Persons Cases.

The Case Digest provides an analysis of evidential issues typical to human trafficking cases with input from experts from different parts of the globe, including a compilation of 135 cases from 31 jurisdictions. The Digest has been created to help criminal justice practitioners to expand their understanding of challenges that often arise during human trafficking criminal proceedings, and provides options and possible solutions that have been tried and tested in cases before courts.

“Human trafficking is a complex victim-centered crime that often goes unpunished, and the Case Digest will be very helpful for our Thai counterparts who do not have such a broad range of past court proceedings to point to as a reference – precedents are helpful” said UNODC Regional Representative Jeremy Douglas. He added, “Few human traffickers are prosecuted around the world, and we cannot allow them to operate with impunity. When we allow criminals to remain at large or operate without fear of consequences, we ultimately fail to prevent trafficking and protect the vulnerable.”

The Case Digest was translated after a partnership was established with The Hague Academy of International Law on a training programme designed for judges from Thailand on international law related to trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. The Office of the Judiciary in Thailand requested its adaptation which was done in partnership with the Multi-Stakeholders Initiative for Accountable Supply Chain of Thailand Fisheries (MAST), a nonprofit based in Thailand for combating human trafficking at sea.

Thailand‘s Secretary-General of the Office of the Judiciary, Pongdej Wanichkittikul, thanked UNODC, MAST, and the Government of Japan for their support and partnership to prepare a Thai version of the Case Digest. He remarked, “The Case Digest is an incredibly valuable resource for prosecutors and judicial officials, and I believe it will play a significant part in Thailand’s effort to tackle human trafficking.”

The Case Digest will now be used as a foundation for a training programme for different levels of judges from courts across Thailand, with the expectation that practitioners will be able to learn from actual cases, as well as understanding common patterns and issues, and by having access to legal tools developed by and with courts in other parts of the world.