USAID’s Dignity and Rights project implemented by International Organization for Migration (IOM) and in cooperation with the Aga-Khan Humanities project of the University of Central Asia organized a two-day national debate tournament on human trafficking among the best youth teams from all over the country.
Dedicated to the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, commemorated annually on July 30, the debates intended to increase awareness in Tajik society of human trafficking and the need to protect the rights of victims.
The final round of the tournament brought together 36 high school and university students from Dushanbe, Sughd, Badakhshon, and Khatlon districts. The finalists had first competed at a district level through debates on child labor and children’s rights, benefits and risks of migration, and migrants’ rights.
“This competition gives young participants the opportunity to build on their understanding of human trafficking and generally reflect on global migration issues. With each round, we have seen the young debaters grow more aware of human dignity and rights issues, and of the dangers of trafficking in persons and illegal migration. The debates are effective drills: not only do they enhance one’s critical thinking and public speaking abilities, but they help build essential life skills and thus prepare young people for life in general. The debates are conducted in English to enable participants to practice and develop their English language skills as well.” said Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, Chief of Mission, (IOM) Tajikistan.
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.
Dignity and Rights project in Central Asia raises awareness on human rights, and especially the rights of migrants, and empowers civil society in the region to act in support of the rights of migrants, potential migrants and their families, and the dignity and rights of people in Central Asia.