BCC.20.001 – COMCRIM: COMbatting CRIMes that undermine the rule of law in a smart and comprehensive manner, in a financial public-private partnership and through artificial intelligence with a focus on human trafficking, money laundering and corruption

Route: Between conflict and cooperation

Cluster question: 058 What are the patterns and causes of crime and how can we influence them?

Crimes that undermine the rule of law (ondermijning) create conflicts in contemporary society that urgently require cooperation so as to find better solutions. Paradoxically, whilst profitability of crimes like human trafficking, corruption and money laundering is increasing, their visibility is decreasing. For example, human traffickers nowadays earn around € 150 billion annually, by exploiting some 40.3 million victims in sectors like prostitution and agriculture, but victim detection and prosecution rates steadily decline worldwide. Hence, this research answers the question: What is the optimal way to combat these crimes in a smart and comprehensive manner, in a public-private partnership and through artificial intelligence? New (financial) data sources are explored to detect crimes, analyse patterns, discern networks and model interventions, under two research pillars. Our first pillar comprises socio-legal research. This involves the creation of the legal framework comprised of (inter)national criminal law and human rights law, including privacy and fair trial guarantees. It also entails developing and empirically testing queries for crime detection, following financial flows and discerning complex and adaptive criminal networks. This answers questions like how to regulate public-private partnerships and how to use intelligence as legal evidence in fair trials. Since previous research resulted in a query with a 70% success rate, this research pillar builds on that evidence base. Our second pillar develops artificial intelligence to support the interactive creation of high-quality search patterns on crimes and proceeds. This helps defining each partner’s role in the constantly developing social and financial-technological networks, interventions and (displacement) effects. Expected impact is increased crime detection, convictions, amounts of confiscated proceeds and victim reparations, and financial intelligence for crime prevention and disruption.


Artificial Intelligence, Crime Detection, Criminal Justice, Financial Intelligence, Holistic Approach

Other organisations

ABN AMRO, Amsterdam Center for Forensic Science and Medicine, Bureau of the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence against Children, Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Center, CoMensha, Fairwork, FIU-Nederland, ING, Inspectorate of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, Knab, Ministry of Justice and Security, Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment., Police Academy, Public Prosecution Service, Rabobank


Organisation University of Amsterdam (UVA)
Name Mr. dr. drs. J.E.B. (Jill) Coster van Voorhout
E-mail J.CostervanVoorhout@UvA.nl
Website https://www.uva.nl/over-de-uva/organisatie/faculteiten/faculteit-der-rechtsgeleerdheid/onderzoek/onderzoeksthemas/arbeidsuitbuiting-en-mensenhandel.html