U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Cross-National Collaboration to Combat Human Trafficking Learning From The Experience of Others

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2008
54 pages
In response to call for a global collaborative effort to conduct research on a transnational crime of concern to the United States and abroad, specifically human trafficking, this project study sought to more clearly understand how Europe-based organizations are accomplishing cross-national collaboration to combat human trafficking and to use that information to develop suggestions for improving United States-Canada antitrafficking efforts.
In regards to basic ingredients of cross-national cooperation, participants agreed that cooperation among countries is a necessary ingredient in combating transnational crime in general and trafficking in persons specifically. In relation to impediments to cross-national cooperation, it was found that even when political will and sufficient intracountry cooperation was present, effective cross-national cooperation was not easily achieved. Examples of impediments were problems related to corruption, problems related to competition, problems related to differing legal systems, problems related to evaluation, and problems related to approach. Aside from these impediments to cross-national cooperation, participants were able to identify a variety of techniques to promote collaboration, such as identifying common ground, establishing trust, facilitating networking, and involving the right people. In conclusion, the project notes that Europe-based participants were able to list impediments to cooperation and to provide techniques to promote cooperation, but the North American participants seemed to have given less thought to either challenges to, or strategies for, improving cross-national collaboration. In North America, the concern is more with day-to-day operations for combating human trafficking, whereas in Europe there seems a greater awareness and sensitivity to dealing with human trafficking in a broader contextual framework. A primary benefit of comparative criminal justice is the opportunity for countries to learn from each other. This research project, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, was designed to identify specific methods used by several Europe-based international organizations to combat human trafficking and see if those practices could provide new approaches to current antitrafficking efforts among the United States-Canadian border. Appendixes A-C

Date Published: May 1, 2008