G.J. is a Nigerian woman who arrived in Spain and requested asylum for religious persecution (first asylum proceedings). After her claim for asylum was refused, she was put in a detention centre for migrants (CIE) for lack of documentation. Whilst in the centre she filed a second asylum request as a victim of trafficking. The representatives of the applicant complained under Article 3 and 4 of the ECHR that the domestic authorities had failed to carry out an appropriate identification procedure and consequently had not assessed the risk that the applicant, who was pregnant, would face upon return in Nigeria, where the authorities were not capable to protect her. The Court was asked to consider whether the inexistence of effective remedy within the Spanish legal system in respect of the identification of victims of trafficking was a breach of Spain’s positive obligations under article 4 and of the prohibition of discrimination. The Court mainly discussed the failure to comply with the "written authority" requirement of submission (Rule 36.1 and 47(5)(1)(c) of the Rules of Court) in finding the application inadmissible on technical grounds.

This case concerned a complaint by a Nigerian national who was promised a job in a bar or nightclub, but forced into prostitution in Greece. Officially recognised as a victim of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, the applicant had nonetheless been required to wait more than nine months after informing the authorities of her situation before the justice system granted her that status. She submitted that the Greek State’s failings to comply with its positive obligations under Article 4 (prohibition of slavery and forced labour) of the Convention had entailed a violation of this provision. The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 4 of the Convention and found in particular that the effectiveness of the preliminary inquiry and subsequent investigation of the case had been compromised by a number of shortcomings. What follows from the Court's reasoning is that identification and formal referral of the status of a victim of human trafficking (measures which states are required to take in order to fulfill their obligations under the CoE Trafficking Convention and the EU law on trafficking) are absorbed under the positive obligation of protective operational measures under Article 4 of the ECHR. 

This case was an appeal against the criminal convictions of four people, three of them children, trafficked to the UK and forced to commit crimes by their traffickers. The question is whether issues of age, trafficking and exploitation lead the court to disagree with the decision to prosecute. A criminal court must decide whether the criminal offence alleged to have been committed by the child was a manifestation of their exploitation or a consequence of it and integral to it. If so, prosecution would be an abuse of process.

The Court of Appeal held that where a child trafficking victims faces criminal proceedings their best interests must be a primary consideration, as provided for by Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Criminal courts have a statutory duty to enquire about a defendant’s age and where there are reasons to believe that a defendant is a child they should be treated as a child until their age has been assessed. If after examining available evidence age cannot be determined, a presumption in favour of the defendant being a child is to be applied.

The Court of Appeal also considered Article 8 of the EU Trafficking Directive (2011/36), which enshrines the right for victims of trafficking to not be prosecuted for their involvement in criminal activities that they are compelled to commit as a direct consequence of being trafficked. This is one of the first cases in the EU where the application of Article 8 has been considered.

First Tier judge erred in not properly analysing the re-trafficking risk in Nigeria to the Appellant who was a recognised victim of trafficking.

The case relates to a Bulgarian offender convicted in the District Criminal Court of Alkmaar for trafficking in human beings to work in the sex industry in the Netherlands. The Court ruled that the offender had to pay compensation to the victims under the criminal proceedings for material and immaterial damages they had suffered. 

The case was heard in the Court of Appeal in order to deal with criticisms raised regarding conditions in Nigeria and whether the appellant, a Nigerian citizen who had been the victim of human trafficking, was trafficked by a single individual or a gang. The Court concluded that the appellant would be at risk on return from the gang members and found that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal had erred in its consideration in imposing the burden of proof in establishing that an individual was trafficked by a gang as opposed to a single trafficker on the applicant who is applying for protection.

This case involved the consideration of the duty under Article 26 of Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings not to impose penalties on victims for their involvement in unlawful activities. The Court of Appeal’s reading of Article 26 provides for a careful consideration on whether public policy calls for prosecution and punishment when the defendant is a trafficked victim and the crime has been committed when he or she was in some manner compelled to commit it. Article 26 does not require a blanket immunity from prosecution for trafficked victims and the application of Article 26 is fact-sensitive in every case.     

The Court noted this case serves as a good example of modern forms of slavery, which is more than merely the exploitation of another. The Court of Appeal finds that the exercise of power attaching to the right of ownership is not a single, discrete act and the indicia of slavery found in this case are sufficient to determine whether the accused intended to purport to exercise a power attaching to the right of ownership and aid in the determination of the condition of slavery. The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has sent a strong message about the need for clear direction on the matter of intent.

The Asylum Tribunal noted that there are deficiencies in the measures taken by the Chinese authorities to combat the problem of trafficking in China, one of which is the lack of a determined effort to deal with the complicity of corrupt law enforcement officers and state officials. The Court held that “women and girls in China do not in general face a real risk of serious harm from traffickers. Where, however, it can be established in a given case that a woman or a girl does face a real risk of being forced or coerced into prostitution by traffickers, the issue of whether she will be able to receive effective protection from the authorities will need careful consideration in the light of background evidence highlighting significant deficiencies in the system of protection for victims of trafficking. But each case, however, must be judged on its own facts.”

The court assessed damages to be awarded to victims of unlawful imprisonment and sexual exploitation for the purposes of prostitution where they were forced to carry out sexual activities with large numbers of men over a period of one or two months. The victims were awarded damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, aggravated damages and exemplary damages.

The Federal Court of Canada decided on the application for a stay of a removal order. The Court considered irreparable harm to her physical safety and the risk of re-trafficking if the applicant were returned to Romania. 

This is an appeal against sentencing for various offences including trafficking people to the UK for sexual exploitation. One of the Appellants was herself a trafficked woman who had been beaten and raped by her co-defendant and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The Judge’s comments are dismissive of her appeal which they say involved callous, systemically brutal deprivation of liberty that took place and they concluded that the sentences, though severe, were appropriate to mark the gravity of the offenses and as a deterrent to those who take part in this criminal activity. 

Applicant was forced into sex slavery upon arrival in Australia from Thailand. The Court concluded that the Tribunal erred in failing to consider whether the applicant could be forcibly re-trafficked, and therefore failed to deal with crucial and essential element of the applicant’s claim which deprived her of the possibility of a different outcome. 



The defendant recruited 4 Thai women to Hong Kong for the purpose of prostitution. The defendant accompanied A from Thailand to Hong Kong,  picked up B in Macau and traveled together to Hong Kong and picked up C and D at the Hong Kong airport. The defendant managed a brothel where A, B, C and D provided sexual services. The District Court held that "trafficking in persons is a vicious offence as it involves a callous disregard of the dignity of the person concerned, especially when it carries with it an element of sexual exploitation. It is also an offence which has attracted a growing international attention. As such, the Court has to send out a strong signal that Hong Kong will not tolerate any form of human trafficking, be it in the form of importation or exportation." The District Court referred to HKSAR v Lau Chi Yui & Anor (CACC 148/2004) and R v Wong Fu Keung (CACC 158/1996) for sentencing authorities but noted that sentence depends largely on the facts of the case. Here, the District Court looked at "the existence of serious exploitation...that the prostitutes would provide sexual services to each patron at HK$300, that [defendant] would charge HK$280 as her commission for their first 50 or 70 clients and that thereafter she would charge HK$150 as her commission" to determine the sentence in this case. 

The defendant in this case was arrested and charged with "trafficking in persons to Hong Kong". The defendant was involved in financing and making arrangements for prostitutes from Columbia to travel to Hong Kong to work as prostitutes. The trafficked women worked illegally supplying  some of their income to the defendant. The defendant helped find customers on some occasions.  

Multiple defendants were convicted of “trafficking in persons to Hong Kong” and “controlling another person for the purpose of prostitution.” The Court concluded that the facts show elements of harbouring and receipt of individuals through deception, abuse of power/position of vulnerability and threats or use of force or other forms of coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation/exploitation for the purpose of prostitution.

The High Court examined the acts of the defendant in relation to Section 129(1) of the Crimes Ordinance, Cap. 200. The applicant appealed that his activities in arranging for the female victim to be brought to Hong Kong were not acts falling within the court’s jurisdiction. The Judge concluded from the evidence that the offence is complete once the person is brought into Hong Kong for the purpose of prostitution and that he is in the same position as the principal offenders and liable to be tried in this jurisdiction. “What has happened in the present case is that there was but one offence, not committed as a discrete offence by the applicant on the Mainland, but as party to a crime committed within this jurisdiction. He is therefore in the same position as the principal offenders and liable to be tried in this jurisdiction.