Parosha Chandran

Chandran, Parosha

An experienced and committed advocate for trafficking victims.’

Breaking News: TIP Hero Award 2015

On Monday 27 July 2015 at a ceremony at the State Department in Washington DC, Parosha Chandran was presented with the Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award  2015 by John Kerry, US Secretary of State.

In naming Parosha Chandran as “one of the world’s leading practitioners” in the field of human trafficking and modern slavery, she was described by Mr Kerry as being an:

“…extraordinarily dedicated human rights barrister…[who has shaped] the development of national and international law and policy on human trafficking in the United Kingdom and abroad.  With a rare multi-disciplinary perspective, she has set critical legal precedents to protect the rights of trafficking victims.”

In particular Parosha was honoured with the Trafficking in Persons Hero award by the US Department of State for:

“…her tireless efforts to develop and advance national and international law and policy on human trafficking in the United Kingdom and abroad, her unwavering commitment to protecting victims, and her unparalleled achievement in providing legal services to survivors of modern slavery”


Parosha Chandran is the UK’s leading anti-slavery lawyer and she has been practicing at the Bar of England and Wales for 18 years. She is an award-winning human rights barrister and a leader at the Bar in the fields of human rights, human trafficking, forced labour and labour exploitation, immigration, trafficking-related criminal appeals and public law.

Parosha has acted in successful cases in a wide variety of human rights-related areas throughout her practice, from trafficking-related civil cases and criminal appeals, to civil actions against the police and prison law to employment-related race discrimination and medical cases. She also practices in immigration and asylum law (including adult & children’s cases, HIV appeals, deportation and EU law). She has appeared in the High Court of England and Wales, the Court of Appeal (both Civil and Criminal divisions), the Privy Council, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and Chamber, the Employment Tribunal and she has drafted several successful applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Parosha has extensive experience in representing the rights of trafficked men, women and children in the UK who have experienced trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and enforced criminal activity.

She has vast experience in bringing test cases in these areas and many of her cases have impacted upon the development of law and policy in the UK and abroad. Parosha is trained in direct access. She is also a member of the Prison Law team in chambers. She regularly advises international institutions such as the UNODC, the OSCE and the Council of Europe on matters relating to human trafficking, modern slavery and human rights.

She has expertise in advising on supply chains compliance with modern slavery assessments.

She also advises on and acts in compensation and damages claims against traffickers, whether they are individuals or corporations in the UK and abroad.

Modern Slavery Law and Human Trafficking: Areas of Practice

The areas of Parosha’s practice in relation to her modern slavery and human trafficking law practice include the following:

1. Crime – advises on and undertakes appeals against conviction and sentence by victims who have committed their crimes as a direct consequence of trafficking.

2. Immigration – advises on and undertakes asylum, protection-based and human rights -based claims for leave to remain and resulting appeals.

3. Trafficking Identification – advises on and undertakes challenges by judicial review to negative trafficking victim identification decisions taken by the Government's formal National Referral Mechanism on trafficking identification.

4. Age Assessments – advises on and undertakes challenges by judicial review to age assessment decisions by local authorities in relation to trafficked victims who claim to be minors.

5. Family law and care proceedings – provides expert advice in cases concerning the rights of trafficked children

6. Civil actions against public authorities, including the police – advises on and undertakes such cases where public authorities have failed to comply with their obligations to investigate trafficking and protect victims of trafficking.

7. Civil actions against traffickers and enslavers, whether individuals or corporations, for damages arising from trafficking, forced labour or slavery related loss and harm.

8. Compensation Claims – advises on applications made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

9. Supply Chains – expert advice on whether corporations are in compliance with their statutory obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015's TISC (transparency in supply chains) provisions.

10. International Cases - Representing trafficking victims and victims of slavery and human rights violations in International and European Courts and Tribunals and by taking cases to international treaty bodies.

11. Expert advisory work and reports: Advice on all legal and policy-related aspects, international and national, whether civil law, public law or criminal law, relating to human trafficking and modern slavery.

Parosha Chandran’s Awards:

  • Trafficking in Persons Hero Award 2015 – Presented to Parosha Chandran by John Kerry, US Secretary of State, 27 July 2015 for her “unparalleled achievement in providing legal services to survivors of modern slavery”.
  • Woman of Achievement (Woman of the Year Awards 2009).
  • Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award 2009, Society of Asian Lawyers Annual Awards
  • Barrister of the Year Award 2008, the Law Society’s Excellence Awards

Award Panel’s Commendation: “Parosha Chandran has acted in precedent-setting human trafficking and immigration cases, and works with a number of NGOs providing support to victims of sex trafficking, forced labour and torture – in addition to giving lectures and providing training. In what is an under-supported area of law, the judges felt the glowing testimonials in her entry summed up her outstanding commitment and what a remarkable talent she is.” (24th October 2008)

  • International Diploma in International and Comparative Human Rights and Humanitarian Law 1994 (International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, 3 competitive exams, youngest award-holder);


Parosha has been consulted on numerous human trafficking-related publications. A full list is available on request. She has also published two books:

  • General Editor of & Specialist Contributor to: The Human Trafficking Handbook: Recognising Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery in the UK, Chandran, P. ed. (LexisNexis, October 2011) Foreword to the Handbook written by Sir Nicolas Bratza, former President of the European Court of Human Rights

  • Author: A Guide to the Human Rights Act 1998 (Butterworths, 1999);

Recent Talks and Lectures

Parosha is a highly sought-after lecturer and speaker on human rights and human trafficking, both in UK and Internationally. A list of her recent conferences and seminars is available on request. She is often asked to give after-dinner speeches at high-level events.

Appointments and Memberships

Member, Presidential Task Force on Human Trafficking (International Bar Association) (2015); Member, Group of Experts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2012-2014); Expert Consultant, Organisation of Co-Operation and Security in Europe (2012-2013); Former Member of the Advisory Board of the British Institute of Human Rights (previous posts were as Vice Chair (2008-2010), Trustee (2000-2010), Governor (1998-2000) Volunteer (1993-5); Co-founder of the Trafficking Law and Policy Forum (2007-); member of The Times Law Panel (2009-); member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Pro Bono Lawyers Panel (2003-); member of Lincoln’s Inn Euro Committee (2005-).

Advisory and Consultancy Work for Intergovernmental agencies:


In 2012 and 2014 Parosha Chandran participated as a member of the Group of Experts convened and consulted by the UNODC to assist in determining the legal meaning and scope of the terms ‘abuse of a position of vulnerability’ (APOV, 2012) and ‘ Consent’ (2014) under the Palermo Protocol human trafficking definition. The following publications resulted:

  • UNODC Issue Paper on Abuse of a Position of Vulnerability 2012
  • UNODC Guidance Note on Abuse of a Position of Vulnerability 2012 ( a practical paper for practitioners)
  • UNODC Issue Paper on Consent 2014.
  • UNODC Case Law Digest 2015 (publication pending), a compilation of judgments on trafficking cases emanating from UN member states. Parosha was consulted as an expert advisor.

Parosha is recognised by the OSCE both as an expert on trafficking in human beings and an expert in human rights. In 2012 she was appointed an Expert Consultant to advise in relation to the OSCE Policy and Legislative Recommendations on the Non-Punishment of Victims of Trafficking.

The OSCE's Non-Punishment guidance was published in April 2013, and is available here.

Parosha has also been invited to speak at several high-level meetings of the OSCE, including at the Alliance Conference in 2012. Her areas of expertise are diverse and her speaking engagements include her insights on compensation for trafficked persons, non-discrimination for trafficked persons and the right to non-punishment. She has also provided legal training to members of the judiciary and prosecutors on behalf of the OSCE, both in Strasbourg and at an international training conference held in Krakow, Poland.


Judicial training: Parosha presented expert presentations at training sessions in 2014 and 2015 on non-punishment for over 50 Judges and Prosecutors from Council of Europe and OSCE Member States.


Human Trafficking Bills 2013- Expert Advice

During 2013-2015 Parosha Chandran was asked to provide expert legal advice in relation to all the new human trafficking and modern slavery bills for England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. She is the only member of the legal profession to have been instructed to do so and was member of the Legal Steering Committee of the Modern Slavery Bill Evidence Review Panel, chaired by Frank Field MP and led by Baroness Butler-Sloss and Sir John Randall MP. The Panel’s report was published on 16 December 2013.

Modern Slavery Act 2015

Parosha provided expert legal advice during 2014-2015 to Peers in the House of Lords, to NGOs and to MPs on various legal provisions in the Modern Slavery Bill including the supply chains provision, extra-territorial jurisdiction, the need to abolish the tied visa for Overseas Domestic Workers, the scope of the criminal offences, non-punishment and the limitations of the statutory criminal defence for trafficked victims and on the need for the introduction of direct remedies under our civil law against traffickers for trafficking, forced labour and slavery.   

A selection of Parosha Chandran’s Precedent-Setting Cases

  • R v O [2008] EWCA Crim 2835 – Quashing of a criminal conviction for a passport offence committed by a 16-year old Nigerian girl fleeing her trafficker. The Court found a breach of Art 6 ECHR. The case established the non-punishment principle for victims of trafficking under UK law before the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). It was the first time that the combined issues of human trafficking, the operation of the UK’s criminal law and the recognition of trafficked victims’ rights had been given detailed scrutiny by the UK courts. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Art 18, was successfully applied. Parosha was led by Peter Carter QC. See
  • M v UK (Application no. 16081/08) – This was the first human trafficking-related complaint against the UK to be taken to the European Court of Human Rights by a victim of trafficking in the UK complaining of violations of Articles 3,4 & 8 ECHR. The UK settled the case by granting M, a teenage victim of abuse who was suffering from severe trauma as a result of her trafficking and the abduction of her baby by traffickers, leave to remain in the UK and consequently a striking out decision by the UK Court was made. Parosha was sole counsel, jointly instructed in the case by Fisher Meredith LLP (Catherine Robinson, now counsel at 1 Pump Court) and the AIRE Centre (Adam Weiss). For the ECtHR’s decision to communicate, see: For the ECtHR’s striking out decision, see:
  • SB (PSG-Protections Regulations-Article 6) Moldova CG [2008] UKAIT 00002 This case established that victims of trafficking can fall within a membership of a particular social group under the Refugee Convention and, in overturning contrary earlier court decisions, changed the law. It has Country Guidance status. The case significantly impacted upon Government policy, requiring the Home Office to accept for the first time that certain victims of trafficking may be entitled to the grant of asylum in the UK. See:

Note: for more detail on the SB Moldova case see the case summary in the Human Trafficking Handbook, Chapter 14, pages 261-264, para 14.16, ‘Particular Social Group.

  • PA v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis (‘Patience’s case’, Unreported, 2009): The first judicial review to be brought of a failure by the Metropolitan Police to comply with its positive duties under Article 4 ECHR to investigate and prosecute a human trafficker in the UK for criminal offences involving domestic servitude (this case was brought pre-Rantsev v Cyprus and Russia in the ECtHR). This landmark claim was settled with the Met Police accepting it had failed in its positive obligations under Art 4 ECHR and damages were given to Patience. Parosha was sole counsel, instructed by the human rights organisation Liberty.

Legislative Reform following Patience’s Case: S 71 Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Patience’s Case exposed a protection gap in UK law whereby no criminal offence for slavery of forced labour existed in the UK unless it was linked to trafficking. Patience had been trafficked into the UK but this was before December 2004 when the relevant trafficking for exploitation criminal offence had entered into force. Her trafficker could not therefore be charged with trafficking nor could her trafficker be charged with slavery or forced labour however as no such criminal law existed in the UK. Patience’s Case inspired Baroness Young of Hornsey, supported by Anti-Slavery International and Liberty, to seek the introduction into UK law during the passage of a Bill in the House of Lords of a free-standing criminal offence of holding a person in slavery or servitude or requiring them to perform forced or compulsory labour. This was achieved by Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which entered into force in England and Wales on 6 April 2010. Parosha advised the Director of Anti-Slavery International, Dr Aidan McQuade, on the proposed new clause during this time. See:

  • PO (Nigeria) v SSHD [2011] EWCA Civ 132. In this significant gang-related trafficking protection appeal the Court of Appeal overturned the Country Guidance findings of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in its 2009 decision of PO (Trafficked Women) Nigeria CG [2009] UKAIT 00046 and provided critical new guidance on the burden of proof in establishing trafficking by gangs. Led by Dinah Rose QC, instructed by Wilson Solicitors LLP. See
  • R v N [2012] EWCA Crim 189 (20 February 2012).  This was a a landmark non-punishment related criminal appeal. Parosha was led by Peter Carter QC. It was the first time the Court had considered the problem of child trafficking for enforced criminal activity, namely cannabis cultivation by a Vietnamese boy, in the UK as this area had not previously been subject to any close scrutiny the UK’s implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.  N had been, subsequent to his conviction, formally accepted by the Secretary of State as being a trafficked person under the National Referral Mechanism. Notwithstanding this recognition, N’s appeal against his conviction was disallowed, although his appeal against sentence succeeded. Parosha considered the Court had erred in refusing to quash N’s criminal conviction and N’s case has been lodged before the European Court of Human Rights. Parosha is jointly instructed by the AIRE Centre and GT Stewart Solicitors. See:
  • R v L and Others [2013] EWCA Crim 991. In 2013 Parosha acted for two of the successful appellants in the landmark non-punishment criminal appeal case of R v L and others. In these cases the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the convictions of victims of human trafficking whose crimes arose as a manifestation of their trafficking and exploitation, having found the UK was bound to give effect to Article 8 of the new EU Trafficking Directive 2011/36/EU. Parosha’s cases were L and T. T was a Vietnamese male who had been trafficked as a child for enforced criminal activity, namely cannabis cultivation, in the UK. His drugs conviction was quashed. L was a Ugandan woman who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation and whose use of a false passport subsequent to her trafficking resulted in a criminal conviction, which was also quashed by the Court in this judgment.

A summary of the BBC news report can be found here.

The judgment can be read here.

Other Relevant Landmark Trafficking Cases

  • MM and EM v SSHD (2005, Unreported) – First successful asylum appeals in the UK to be brought by trafficking victims from the European Union. These cases also became the first successful claims for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
  • X v SSHD (AIT appeal in 2008. Unreported). The first UK criminal prosecution to involve facts concerning a child trafficked for forced labour. Parosha represented the victim in her protection appeals and worked carefully in conjunction with ECPAT (UK), the Crown Prosecution Service, the Paladin (child trafficking) team of the Metropolitan Police and the Refugee Council. Instructed by the then-Immigration Advisory Service (IAS, London: Kalvir Kaur). See:
  • R (on the application of Yusuf & others) v SSHD [2006] Civ 3513 (Admin). This was the first case in which it was successfully argued that an individual’s vulnerable mental health may be proper ground for the immediate grant of ILR (as opposed to five years’ leave to remain) following the implementation of the August 2005 policy change. Instructed by Birnberg Peirce (Rachael Despicht).See:
  • R (on the application of Q) v SSHD [2008] Unreported (Admin). In this case it was successfully argued in judicial review proceedings, which settled, that the EU Qualification Directive 2004, taken with the UK’s Qualification Regulations of 2006 (which entered into force in 2008) and Home Office policy on the grant of Humanitarian Protection included a special category of trauma cases where the appropriate grant of immediate leave was ILR rather than 5 years. Instructed by Birnberg Peirce (Rachael Despicht).

Note: for a more detailed commentary on the Yusuf and Q cases see the case summaries in the Human Trafficking Handbook, Chapter 14, pages 247-250, para 14.5,‘Permanent Residence for Victims of Trafficking and Torture: EU law as Interpreted in UK Policy’

Other Cases of Significance

Medical Law and Race Discrimination

Parosha has acted in several successful cases involving challenges by ethnic minority doctors wishing to overturn adverse training and practice decisions of the Royal Medical Colleges and the supervisory and regulatory bodies. Many of her cases resulted in her clients ultimately becoming medical consultants when the path to consultancy had been blocked to them for unlawful reasons, often relating to race. She was the first barrister to successfully represent doctors before the Specialist Training Authority. In 2001 she was also the first barrister ever permitted to attend and represent a doctor at a hearing in one of the Royal Medical Colleges involving fitness to practice.

Immigration Law:

  • Said v SSHD [2015] EWHC 879 – Successful case concerning lengthy delay by the Home Office  in determining applications for leave to remain of family members of a British national. Parosha led Priya Solanki.
  • MP v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 829. Parosha represented Tamils against Genocide (TAG) and successfully raised the need for a special category of risk cases involving victims and witnesses of war crimes in Sri Lanka. Parosha was co-counsel with Shivani Jegarajah.

Privy Council case & the Death Penalty

  • JP and others, 2008, unreported

From 2006-2008 Parosha acted in an appeal to the Privy Council against the conviction and sentence of JP, a man convicted with others of murder in Trinidad, who was sentenced to the death penalty. Although JP’s appeal against his conviction was ultimately unsuccessful before the Privy Council his sentence to the death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment. Parosha was led by Peter Carter QC. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard.

International Human Rights case

  • The case of Richard Meechan, 2003

In 2003 Richard Meechan, a British man convicted of manslaughter in Bahrain and serving a sentence of imprisonment there, was the only British national held in prison in the Gulf States. The Iraq war was about to break out, giving rise to potential risks in prison for a person of Richard’s profile. Parosha was asked by Richard Mechan’s father via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Pro Bono Lawyers Panel, of which Parosha was an expert member, to provide pro bono detailed written advice on whether fair trial guarantees had been breached during Richard’s criminal trial. Parosha documented several critical errors in the trial proceedings. A request for clemency was subsequently made by the British Government to the Head of State of Bahrain. Richard was released and was swiftly returned to the UK in safety.

Law Directories and What Others Say

Parosha is ranked in the Chambers and Partners Directory and in the Legal 500. She has received extremely favourable commentaries from the Directories every year since she was first ranked in 2005. For example:

“She has leading expertise in Human Trafficking matters.”

“At the forefront of developing the law in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.”

Human Rights:

"Parosha Chandran of 1 Pump Court is… renowned for her intellectual expertise and client sensitive approach."

“Parosha Chandran …is widely regarded as an expert on human trafficking cases. Her representation of vulnerable individuals in this context prompts one source to observe that "she is just fearless and has the ability to get right to the heart of the matter."

“[Her] work has important implications…she is praised for her creative thinking and work ethic…”


“Parosha Chandran is renowned for her specialist practice involving victims of human trafficking, "an area she knows inside-out."... Sources give weight to her client-handling skills, saying: "She can adapt her style to put children and vulnerable claimants at ease without losing the meaning of the message she is trying to get across." "Incredibly passionate about her work, she always maintains her composure and never loses her professional edge."”

One source explained: "She inspires confidence - you know you can rely on her to deliver.""

The Times Law Panel 2009 (a list of the 100 most influential lawyers in the UK)

"Parosha Chandran is a barrister specialising in immigration and human rights whose work has led to several advances in the law governing the rights of victims of human trafficking".

The Law Society Excellence Awards 2008, on presenting Parosha with the Barrister of the Year Award:

“…what a remarkable talent she is”

Trafficking in Persons Hero Award 2015, US Department of State, John Kerry:

Parosha Chandran is “one of the world’s leading practitioners” in trafficking and modern slavery law. She is honoured for “her unparalleled achievement in providing legal services to survivors of modern slavery.”

Educational background:

Qualifications: LLB (Hons.) (University of London); Teacher-training course & certificate in
Human Rights (CIEDHU) from the International Centre for the Teaching of Human Rights in
Universities, Strasbourg; Diplome in International and Comparative Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg; LLM (University of London, UCL); Bar Vocational Course (Inns of Court School of Law). Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1997.

Internships & human rights work: Volunteer, British Institute of Human Rights (1993-5), Intern, AIRE Centre (1995-6), Intern, European Commission for Human Rights, Strasbourg (1996), UNHCR London (1997); Research Consultant in Human Rights, King’s College London (1997); an Independent Legal Advisor to the Lord Chancellor’s Department on the Human Rights Bill (1997); United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Office of the Prosecutor, The Hague (1999).



Parosha Chandran

Parosha Chandran
Call: 1997

Civil & Public Law Group

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