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Remedies for Trafficking Victims: Mandatory Criminal Restitution for Victims

(516 reviews)

Produced on March 17, 2016

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Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Restitution is mandatory for trafficking victims under 18 USC §1593. “Remedies for Trafficking Victims: Mandatory Criminal Restitution for Victims,” Part II in a two-part series, provides guidance on victim-witness representation in criminal sex and labor trafficking cases. The training draws from an extensive analysis of federal trafficking indictments conducted jointly by The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center and a pro bono firm, WilmerHale.


This case-based training provides case-based guidance on maximizing criminal restitution for trafficking victims in federal criminal proceedings. The training reviews methods of calculating restitution, best practices for working with federal prosecutors on restitution, recent amendments to federal laws on restitution, and collection of federal restitution. The training also flags ancillary issues that counsel must consider in obtaining restitution for a client, including tax consequences, client safety, financial management, and remittances abroad.


This content supplements the material presented in Session I, which covers civil litigation on behalf of trafficking victims.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Identify the federal laws on restitution for trafficking victims

II.    Comprehend effective methods of cooperation with federal prosecutors on restitution issues

III.   Master the facts and theories behind the leading trafficking restitution cases

IV.   Grasp the use of expert witnesses in obtaining restitution

V.    Understand the following:

  • methods to minimize re-traumatization of victim-witnesses in the awarding of restitution
  • the role of victim-witness counsel
  • the timing of restitution requests and negotiations
  • the interplay between restitution and plea agreements
  • the interplay between forfeiture and restitution, including recent amendments to federal law
  • restitution pre-payment and other options for collection
  • the role of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Financial Litigation Unit
  • the federal government’s collection powers
  • the tax implications of restitution and the economic and social pressures on clients after receiving restitution

Credit Information

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Martina E. Vandenberg

The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center

Martina E. Vandenberg is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center (HT Pro Bono). Vandenberg established HT Pro Bono in 2012 with generous support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Fellowship Program. 

Prior to becoming an OSF Fellow, Vandenberg served as a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation and internal investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She served as a senior member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. 

Vandenberg has spent two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. Vandenberg has represented victims of human trafficking pro bono in immigration, criminal, and civil cases. She has testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, the Helsinki Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Armed Services Committee on an array of human rights issues. Through HT Pro Bono, Vandenberg has trained more than 1,800 pro bono attorneys nationwide to handle human trafficking matters. 

A former Human Rights Watch researcher, Vandenberg spearheaded investigations into human rights violations in the Russian Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Ukraine. She is the author of two Human Rights Watch reports, “Hopes Betrayed: Trafficking of Women and Girls to Post-Conflict Bosnia & Herzegovina for Forced Prostitution,” and “Kosovo: Rape as a Weapon of ‘Ethnic Cleansing.’” As a researcher for the Israel Women’s Network, she investigated and published the first report documenting human trafficking into Israel. While living in the Russian Federation in the 1990s, she co-founded Syostri, one of Russia’s first rape crisis centers for women.

Vandenberg has received multiple awards for her leadership against human trafficking. In 2012, the Freedom Network USA presented Vandenberg with the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award for her “outstanding leadership and dedication in working to combat human trafficking and slavery in the United States.” In 2013, she received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation’s Stevens Award for outstanding service in public interest law. In 2015, she received the Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize. She also received Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award for her successful representation of trafficking victims in United States federal courts and her advocacy before Congress. Vandenberg currently serves as a co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Task Force. 

A Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar, Vandenberg has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law and at the Oxford University Human Rights Summer Program. She is a graduate of Pomona College (B.A.), Oxford University (M.Phil), and Columbia Law School (J.D.).


Christopher M.

Excellent presentation.

Neelam N.

Informative and Inspiring!

Richard R.

Rather inspiring! Thank you for your dedication to "the good of humankind"

Cecilia C.

The instructor did a masterful job of presenting disturbing content.

Susan C.

as before, Ms Vandenberg is an inspirational speaker

Richard S.

This presentation perfectly shows why you need a lawyer for things, and why you need a lawyer who knows about and practices in the area of law that relates to your problem. I learned a ton about victims' rights and restitution - I had no previous idea how complicated the area of law could be, but now I have a much better idea about what I might do in such a case, and why I might associate in counsel with experience also to be sure I do it right. Thank you!

Edward K.

Good course

Sharon A.

very good presentaton

Rachel E.


Steve S.

Very informative. Great instructor

Pamela M.

Instructor was fabulous

Lawrence R.

Outstanding presentation.

Daniel N.

Teaches remedies for heart rending fact patterns

Eric P.


Edward B.

Excellent program, very interesting, and the presenter was excellent!

Alfred D.

great presentation. very informative and practical.

Gerard M.

part 2 of a very good program great information great speaker

Diane L.

Excellent presenter! Thank you.

Julie A. B.

An important topic delivered by a knowledgeable speaker.


An amazing speaker with compelling information.

Fredda B.


Laura P.

Excellent session

Gadi Z.

This was well done.

Kai D.

Another excellent presentation by Ms Vandenberg

Michael B.

good course

Debra L.

a powerful and moving presentation

Carla D.

Excellent speaker

Laura c.

Excellent presentation!

Charlotte J.

Interesting and informative.

Susan M.

Excellent Part 2!

pamela s.

This was excellent

Karen F.

Ms. Vandenberg is so good and so inspiring - you want to go out and make a difference after listening to this.

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