chapter  5
30 Pages

Prosecution

ByMarie Segrave, Sanja Milivojevic, Sharon Pickering

This chapter offers an examination of the justification for prosecution as a primary goal of anti-trafficking interventions, and interrogates the prosecutorial process and the impact of prosecutions. The focus is on the limitations of and concerns raised by existing prosecutorial practices, recognising that this remains an area for which there is a limited empirical data. In all three countries under study, the number of successful prosecutions has been limited, and remain a very small fraction of the number of ‘suspected’ victims identified by authorities and NGOs, and an even smaller fraction of the estimates of the number of people experiencing exploitation akin to human trafficking in any of these nations at any one time. Essentially, this chapter is interested in the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ of prosecutorial efforts. The discussion focuses first on ‘enabling discourses’ – the explanations and reasons offered to support the necessity and logic of the pursuit of prosecutions. We specifically focus on the symbolic performance of justice together with the instrumentalist desire for measurable outputs, and the ways in which these processes operate in a legal context that has limited evidenced impact on exploitation per se.