The Use of Digital Evidence in Human Trafficking Investigations


  • Isabella Chen
  • Celeste Tortosa



This short article two NGO workers’ experience providing legal and social support to twenty Venezuelan women who were trafficked through the use of social media and chat apps. It shows how the digital evidence from online interactions between the women and their traffickers was used in the investigation and successful prosecution of the case. The article concludes, however, that this does not apply to all women that the NGO supports, and thus digital evidence, and technology, have only limited application in anti-trafficking efforts.


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Author Biographies

Isabella Chen

Isabella Chen is a Project Manager at LEFÖ-IBF working in the areas of research, policy, and advocacy. She coordinates two projects—one on safe and voluntary return of trafficked persons and another on strengthening the right to residence and protection for third-country nationals trafficked to Europe. She has a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Vienna. Her research interests include the European Union’s migration policy and its links to human trafficking, gender, and racism.

Celeste Tortosa

Celeste Tortosa is a psychosocial and legal counsellor at LEFÖ-IBF, where she works primarily with women from Latin America and Nigeria. Her research interests include compensation and the right to residence permits for trafficked persons. She holds two MAs in Sociology and Social Work from the University of Buenos Aires. Previously, she has worked as a researcher in the field of fundamental rights and torture at the Observatorio del Sistema Penal y los Derechos Humanos at the University of Barcelona.




How to Cite

Chen, I., & Tortosa, C. (2020). The Use of Digital Evidence in Human Trafficking Investigations. Anti-Trafficking Review, (14), 122–124.