Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Transnational organized crime, human rights


This chapter will scrutinize the points at which these two legal regimes intersect with and infuse each other. It will proceed in three sections. The first section will provide a brief overview of the international human rights law system, specifically tailored to ground the following parts. The second section will examine the means by which protection is given to the human rights of individuals who are targeted for criminal investigation and prosecution as a result of their alleged involvement in TOC (referred to for efficiency as “accused persons” or “the accused”). It will first briefly explain the means by which the accused’s rights are protected (or meant to be so) in domestic criminal investigations, and then turn to the more complex questions around protecting accused’s rights when they are targeted by inter-state cooperation mechanisms such as extradition.

The third and final section will examine the more cutting-edge issue of whether state obligations and activities around crime suppression can—and should—themselves promote and protect the human rights of individuals, in a proactive rather than reactive manner. This idea, lately referred to as “coercive human rights” (Lavrysen and Mavronicola 2020), will be explored through the lens of one of the more odious brands of TOC, human trafficking, and an examination of both the actual and prospective means by which crime control mechanisms can promote the human rights of victims.


This is a pre-publication version of a paper that will be published as a chapter in Routledge Handbook of Transnational Organized Crime, forthcoming in 2021.