Hitting Them Where It Hurts – Strategies for Seizing Assets in Human Trafficking Cases

Human trafficking is a lucrative business that is extremely difficult to identify, investigate, and prosecute, and there are still significant barriers to a successful outcome in these cases, including, among other things, limited resources. Even where offenders are prosecuted and convicted, victims are often left shattered physically, emotionally, and financially by their experiences. Asset forfeiture laws provide for the seizure of property that is a fruit of – or was used to further – the criminal enterprise. Utilizing these laws is one effective way to deter and disrupt traffickers while providing trafficking victims with the monetary means to rebuild their lives. This Strategies in Brief discusses civil and criminal asset forfeiture as a tool in prosecuting cases of human trafficking and related crimes.