ABA ROLI Announces New Counter-Trafficking in Persons Project in Southern Africa

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) recently announced a new project designed to counter trafficking in persons in the 15 countries that comprise the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Susan Marx, an experienced rule of law expert and manager, will be leading the project that seeks to support SADC member states to more effectively prosecute the crime of human trafficking at home and to implement anti-trafficking in persons (TIP) cross-border initiatives.

ABA ROLI will work in close collaboration with the African Prosecutors Association (APA), with the goal of developing the capacity of the APA to lead local reform of laws, policies, and regulations that comply with international best practices, more effectively combat TIP, and create consistent legal frameworks that facilitate cross-border prosecution. The APA, which was established to increase collaboration and exchange among prosecutors, is well-suited to become a leading institution for promoting more effective anti-TIP laws, regulations, and policies. It has already taken on an active role in addressing TIP by identifying and producing comprehensive research on the scope of the problem and prioritizing building the capacity of African prosecutors to tackle TIP. ABA ROLI’s support, through the provision of legal expertise, will support the APA’s ongoing efforts and increase its profile as a leader in the fight against TIP in the SADC region.

Susan Marx joins ABA ROLI from The Asia Foundation where she worked for 10 years in various rule of law and management positions in Timor-Leste and Afghanistan. Prior to joining The Asia Foundation, Marx was a consultant for the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, and area coordinator for the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development. Previously, she worked as a program officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Baghdad, Iraq. Early in her career, she was a volunteer coordinator for a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization aimed at advocating for HIV/AIDS rights in South Africa. Marx was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa.

“We are delighted to continue the work fighting trafficking in persons in the SADC region and to have Susan leading the effort,” said Sebastian Albuja, ABA ROLI’s Regional Director for Africa. “This project fills a critical need to bring together national and cross border efforts to combat TIP, and Susan is the perfect person to work alongside the APA to convene and support prosecutors from the region working towards this goal.”