The article outlines the emergence of the non-punishment principle with regard to victims of human trafficking: that people who commit offences in the course, or as a consequence, of being trafficked should not be held criminally accountable because they have been compelled to do so. It is argued that this principle is grounded in recognition of the human rights of trafficked people. The article traces the emergence of the principle in human rights law as well as soft law, and discusses its scope. State practice and recent British cases are considered. It is shown that, while there are difficult issues concerning the scope of the principle, it is becoming increasingly recognised in the field of human trafficking.