An important part of the fight against human trafficking is obtaining criminal sanctions against the traffickers themselves. Civil remedies provide an alternative and/or supplement to criminal proceedings and are attractive as a means of holding perpetrators accountable and providing victims with compensation for harm they have endured and losses incurred. The use of civil remedies remains largely underutilized. To help frontline staff working with victims of trafficking to identify possible means of redress, we assisted Liberty Asia in preparing a comprehensive report on the various civil remedies that may be available to victims of human trafficking in Hong Kong.
The work was very well received by Liberty Asia and has been used in its training sessions for solicitors and duty lawyers in Hong Kong. It has also been published on the Liberty Asia website and on LexisNexis. We hope that it will continue to be used in the daily work of duty lawyers, charities, NGOs, and other law firms and practitioners in Hong Kong to assist with the identification of civil remedies in the drive to help the victims of these crimes.
Obtaining compensation either from the perpetrator or through a compensation scheme is fundamentally important in enabling and helping victims of human trafficking to rebuild their lives and prevent them from being re-trafficked or exploited. However, the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation scheme in Hong Kong does not currently provide a realistic or viable framework to enable victims of human trafficking to claim compensation, and it suffers from several fundamental shortcomings that make it unfit for purpose for these types of claims.
Hogan Lovells has been working with Liberty Asia to examine the existing structure and the difficulties it presents and to prepare comparative views with other systems and key recommendations for reform, including making the case for a separate fund for victims of human trafficking in Hong Kong. The research and materials will be used by Liberty Asia in its lobbying work and to support calls for reform in this important area with the ultimate objective of opening up monetary compensation to victims of trafficking.