Access to Justice is the right for a victim of a crime and/or human rights violation, to a hearing before an impartial tribunal to hold perpetrators of such abuses accountable for their actions and/or to seek reparations. It also means that the police, prosecutors and court shall ensure that their efforts to punish traffickers are implemented within a system that respects and safeguards the rights of the victims to privacy, dignity and safety.

This definition focuses only on legal remedies, but the struggle for justice must be seen in the context of gender justice, social justice and just access to resources. These injustices and the struggles to overcome them are a backdrop to the discrimination that trafficked persons face in seeking legal justice.

While Access to Justice is not defined as a human right in international law, elements of the Right to Access to Justice can be found in various human rights instruments. For example, it is framed within the internationally recognized Right to a Remedy for harm suffered as a result of a violation of one's human rights, which is absolutely fundamental to modern human rights law. .

A victim's right of access to justice includes the right to access all judicial, administrative, or other public processes that are available under the domestic law of a particular country, as well as under international law. The right to access to justice is an equal right shared by all people, regardless of their legal status in a country; thus, there is no basis for discriminating between illegal migrants and others.

Trafficked Persons have a right to:

  • Be treated with dignity and compassion at all times

  • Present their views and concerns to be considered at appropriate stages of criminal, civil and/or administrative proceedings against their suspected traffickers

  • The procedures for obtaining remedies should be clearly explained in a language that the trafficked person understands

  • Compensation or other remedy for the violation suffered

  • Procedures that are expeditious, fair, inexpensive and accessible

  • Receive proper assistance throughout the legal process including legal counsel and access to the prosecutor

  • Information on their role in criminal and civil proceedings, as well as about the scope, time and progress of these and the disposition of their cases

  • Ensured physical and psychological protection of themselves, their families and other witnesses throughout the process

  • Privacy and confidentiality, within the bounds of the law

  • To remain safely in the country in which the remedy is being sought for the duration of any criminal, civil or administrative proceedings