Justice in Their Own Words

Brief

Justice in Their Own Words

Perceptions and Experiences of (In)Justice among Human Trafficking Survivors

Abstract

Survivors of human trafficking face many challenges when interacting with the criminal justice system, including misconceptions regarding the nature of their victimization, stigma due to perceived involvement in illegal behavior, and xenophobia. Despite these documented challenges, little is known about how survivors perceive the justice system or how they would like to achieve justice with regard to their traffickers. This brief fills that gap by asking 80 survivors of human trafficking how they define justice on their own terms. Less than a quarter of respondents endorsed traditional criminal justice remedies, such as incarceration. Instead, most felt justice could be better achieved through prevention. This brief discusses implications of these findings and elaborates on survivors’ recommendations for how policy and practice can be improved.

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