Victims of trafficking should not be criminalized or otherwise punished for acts they commit as a direct result of being trafficked. Beyond protecting rights of victims, this principle of non-punishment also serves criminal justice objectives, by empowering victims to participate in criminal justice processes against traffickers and ensuring that traffickers do not escape justice by deflecting risks of prosecution onto their victims. The non-punishment principle is widely recognized but unevenly applied in practice. This Practice Guide provides practical guidance to law and policymakers, criminal justice practitioners, and service providers on applying the non-punishment principle to ensure victims of trafficking are not punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked.
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