The Global Initiative Network


Marika McAdam

International Legal and Policy Advisor

Marika McAdam has worked as an independent consultant on human trafficking, migrant smuggling and related issues for more than a decade. In that capacity she has drafted key publications for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office on the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and others including the NEXUS Institute and Chatham House.

In recent years, Marika has carried out assessments of legislative responses to human trafficking and migrant smuggling in the Horn of Africa, South East Asia and the South Caucasus. She has also conducted qualitative research for UNODC across some 40 countries and consulted with more than 100 stakeholders in countries of origin, transit and destination to learn about the challenges of interpreting and applying international law in domestic practice, resulting in a series of UNODC issue papers on the definitions of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Her recent research has examined issues of shelter practices for victims of trafficking, human trafficking in conflict settings, and the law and ethics of human trafficking data collection.

Marika also works directly with States and other stakeholders to provide independent advice on harmonizing domestic law and practice with international norms and standards, and participates regularly in UN expert group meetings and roundtables with civil society and other actors. She is currently serving as international law and policy adviser for the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime and is on the editorial board of the Anti-Trafficking Review.

Her book on Freedom from Religion and Human Rights Law: Strengthening the Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief for non-religious and atheist rights-holder was published by Routledge in 2017. She has a PhD in international human rights law.