Fiona David

Executive Director of Global Research, Walk Free Foundation

Fiona is an expert in transnational crime, particularly human trafficking and people smuggling. Fiona has worked on these issues since 1999, when she was seconded from the Australian Institute of Criminology to the UN’s first global program to combat human trafficking, which commenced in the Philippines. Fiona’s research in that country informed UN and Philippine government programming on this issue.

Since that time, Fiona has worked on different forms of modern slavery in more than 15 countries, but with a particular focus on responses to human trafficking and migrant smuggling issue in South East Asia. Fiona was the Research Coordinator for the long-running Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project, where she authored numerous publications, including several reviews of the effectiveness of national responses in ASEAN Member States. As Research Expert on Trafficking in Persons at the Australian Institute of Criminology for a number of years, Fiona was instrumental in establishing and shaping Australia’s national research program on human trafficking.

Fiona is a lawyer, specialising in international law. She was the Principal Drafter of the UNs Model Legislative Provisions on Organized Crime, and the UN’s Model Law against Migrant Smuggling, which has been translated into all five UN languages and form the basis for technical cooperation on these issues globally. Fiona has provided training to police and legislative drafters in more than 6 countries, and throughout Australia. She has provided expert evidence in a number of human trafficking cases in Australia, and has represented Australia at the UN in treaty negotiations.

Before joining Walk Free, Fiona was the Managing Director of a company that specialised in research on crime and development. In this capacity, she has lead complex, multi-country research projects on human trafficking and migrant smuggling in a number of countries, including Australia, Libya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines.