Victims of trafficking are subjected to exploitation in various ways. Sometimes, as a result of their victimization, they engage in illegal conduct. Common examples include involvement in the sex trade, involvement in drug production or trafficking, petty crime, possession or the use of fraudulent documents or entering another country in a manner that does not comply with its immigration laws. In many cases, victims are forced or otherwise compelled by traffickers to commit these crimes or other illegal conduct. This fact is then used by traffickers as a means of maintaining further control over their victims. In some cases, a victim may be unaware that they have broken the law. This issue brief explores the non-punishment principle and identifies key considerations to inform the development of measures to better support its implementation.
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