National Institute on the Prosecution of Human Trafficking

September 22 - 25, 2015

The National Institute on the Prosecution of Human Trafficking (NIPHT) challenged prosecutors to reevaluate their approach to prosecuting human trafficking cases. Participants received training on the dynamics and indicators of human trafficking as well as practical skills to successfully prosecute these cases. NIPHT explored the complex issues faced by prosecutors while balancing offender accountability with the impact of criminal prosecution on victims. In addition to practical case evaluation and litigation skills, the curriculum examined the benefits of a coordinated community response; explored effective interviewing techniques; addressed witness intimidation and establishing forfeiture by wrongdoing; offered guidance on the use of medical evidence and experts; explored ethical issues; and ultimately offered participants the ability to redefine the very nature of justice in human trafficking cases.

Rather than merely attending a series of legal lectures, participants examined their current attitudes and practices by employing active case evaluation, preparation, and trial skills to identify and respond to human trafficking in the varied contexts in which it occurs. The interactive learning experience also enabled prosecutors from different jurisdictions, with varied levels of experience, to learn from one another and engage in "real-life" scenarios that are readily transferable to their everyday work.

NIPHT was hosted at The Commons Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Forty (40) prosecutors from across the country were in attendance, of which 9 were awarded scholarships to cover transportation and lodging expenses. Attendees qualified for approximately twenty (20) continuing legal education credit hours including at least one (1) hour of ethics credit. Participant comments from evaluations included:

  • "I feel that I am now able to make recommendations about establishing a multi-agency HT unit in our office. This entire experience has been incredibly valuable!”
  • "This is, by far, the best training I've been to in a long time. The entire faculty really knows the subject matter. I appreciate the knowledge imparted and the tips on how to implement it in our cases. The AEquitas staff is incredibly organized and helpful. Everything was great!”
  • "Best, most focused training I've ever been to on this subject. I honestly feel I've made contacts and friends and resources that will last a career and lifetime. I'm so incredibly thankful to have been afforded this opportunity and look forward to implementing so many of the things I've learned. The staff and faculty were INCREDIBLE, both personally and professionally."

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