New LSI publications on non-punishment principle

The correct and timely application of the non-punishment principle is of vital importance to protect victims of human trafficking from wrongful prosecution, conviction and punishment for unlawful acts committed in the course, or as a consequence, of their trafficking situation. However, in practice the principle is oftentimes not applied by authorities, leading to devastating outcomes for victims.

La Strada International (LSI) actively pushes for legislative changes and more guidance at European level to promote the application of the Non-Punishment Principle across Europe, including improvement of Article 8 of the EU Trafficking Directive. Moreover, LSI works at a practical level on the promotion of the principle’s application through its own Working Group on Non-punishment. The Working Group has facilitated exchanges of best practices among LSI members and developed two Guidance Documents to support and raise awareness among all stakeholder to ensure better application of the Non-Punishment Principle in practice.

Today, we launch two Guidance Documents:

The ‘Advocacy Document’ is aimed at a broad audience. It informs stakeholders about the Non-Punishment principle and the importance of its correct application. The ‘Explanatory Brief’ provides an in-depth explanation of the principle, its codification in international instruments, the obligations to apply the principle based on human rights law, and case studies to illustrate the principle’s application in practice.

In January 2024, multiple translated versions of these documents will be published, including in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Serbian and Danish. These translated versions will include further information on the application of the principle in the applicable national context.

If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.