Sean Hatwell
Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Human Trafficking

Sean brings to RCG more than 13 years’ experience working in a variety of investigative and consultancy contexts across Asia and the Pacific. His main areas of focus are the law enforcement and criminal justice responses to human trafficking, labour exploitation and transnational organised crime.

Sean began his career as a frontline officer for the New Zealand Police, moving on to qualify as a Detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch. As a detective, he specialised in transnational organised crime, developing a particular interest in the law enforcement and justice system mechanisms required to combat cross-border offending. During his time with the New Zealand Police, he trained and practiced extensively in the PEACE Interviewing model and obtained qualifications as an advanced interviewer and interview trainer.

In 2016, Sean moved to Thailand where he took up a role as an Investigations Manager at a non-government organisation. Applying the principles of organised crime investigation, he led more than sixty human trafficking related investigations, and worked closely with the Thai authorities to bring a number of high profile and ground-breaking cases before the courts, resulting in convictions. The impact of some of these convictions created meaningful systemic change, preventing further similar offending and victimisation.

Sean has more recently worked as a Senior Investigator for Immigration New Zealand, which has strengthened his practical knowledge of the spectrum of migration-related offending. Within this role, he focused primarily on suspected trafficking and exploitation of migrant workers in New Zealand industries. He currently works as a consultant, researcher and an ethical labour supply investigator in the private sector. His work brings together his experience in the investigation and prosecution of migration related crimes, including human trafficking, people smuggling and exploitation.

Sean is an experienced trainer and public speaker. He has designed and conducted numerous training sessions for law enforcement, prosecutors and government officials across Asia and Southeast Asia, in relation to best practice in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking, and the mechanisms of cross-border cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. He is passionate about awareness raising in relation to human trafficking and labour exploitation and speaks regularly about these topics at charity events.

Sean holds a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Auckland, and a Masters Degree in International Security from Massey University, with a specialty in trafficking in persons, intelligence and transnational crime.