Fighting human trafficking in Tajikistan and the consolidation of the country’s victim-centered support system were the focus of an academic conference held today at the Tajikistan National University (TNU) in Dushanbe. The conference was dedicated to the World Day against Trafficking in Persons commemorated annually on 30 July.
The International Organization for Migration – UN Migration Agency (IOM) supported the TNU National Training Centre on Fighting Human Trafficking and Tajikistan’s Inter-Ministerial Anti-Trafficking Committee in the organization of this conference.
Local think tanks, academia, civil society and government agencies presented their victim-centered efforts and experience, and discuss the use of new technologies in fighting this crime in Tajikistan. Other topics on the agenda included legal representation of victims during investigation and prosecution; full support packages for victims; prevention of re-victimization and stigma; the use of internet in preventing human trafficking and irregular migration; regional and global best practices; and Tajikistan’s international commitments.
“This is a discussion of vital importance. The cooperation between practitioners and the academia is essential for building effective approaches to fighting trafficking and assisting victims”, said Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, Chief of Mission, IOM Tajikistan.
As a country of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking, and as a source country for migrant labour, Tajikistan has been challenged to work on its capacity to assist both Tajik and foreign nationals exploited for forced labour and sexual purposes. The 2018 human trafficking report upgraded Tajikistan to Tier 2 in recognition of the country’s sustained efforts to fight trafficking in persons.
Counter-trafficking is part of IOM’s core mandate. For close to two decades, IOM has assisted the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan to develop the legal framework and capacity to fight trafficking, provide protection to victims, and prosecute traffickers. In 2019, IOM Tajikistan has provided direct assistance to 17 victims of trafficking and prevented 8 other cases of potential trafficking, most of whom were male.