GLO.ACT supports annual conference of judges in Kyrgyz Republic

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic - 23 November 2018 - UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) organized, from 12 to14 October 2018, the IV annual conference of judges. Central to the conference was the presentation of findings and results of the Trafficking in Persons case law analysis, recently developed by the Kyrgyz Association of Women Judges and the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic in partnership with UNODC. 

In terms of the context, this case law analysis of TIP related crimes has been initiated in the Kyrgyz Republic for the first time. The aim was to better understand existing judicial practice and identify common challenges faced by judges in adjudicating TIP crimes.  The methodology used for this analysis included a detailed study of 254 cases of TIP related crimes considered by all courts throughout the country, covering the period from 2014 to 2017. It is important to note that the analysis covered not only the article on TIP of the criminal code but also other related articles of the criminal code that criminalize other forms of TIP such as forced marriages, crimes committed towards underage person, bride kidnapping, TIP for the purpose of sexual exploitation and removal of organs. Additionally, the study included interviews with criminal justice practitioners (police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges) as well as representatives of crisis centers and civil society organizations that provide assistance to victims of human trafficking. 

The preliminary findings of the analysis showed that:

 (1) Most of the TIP cases were taken to the courts in Bishkek and Osh;

(2) No cases on TIP for the purpose of organ removal and child sexual exploitation were brought before the courts within reporting period;

(3) 412 persons (254 male and 158 female) were convicted out of 254 cases;

(4) 15 cases out of 254 presided over by the courts related to TIP Article of the criminal code, and 14 cases out of 15 were child trafficking cases.

The summary of the analysis will be prepared based on recommendations provided by conference participants and will be published at official websites of the Supreme Court and Kyrgyz Association of Women Judges. 

"One of the main recommendations of the analysis is to strengthen the capacity of criminal justice practitioners to conduct intelligence-led investigations, legal and evidential issues relevant for the prosecution of TIP cases, such as consent, coercion and exploitation. Judges require relevant trainings on issues related to witness protection during trials, including on-camera testimony, witness concealment and protection of privacy; best practices of court considerations in sentencing, including relevant mitigating and aggravating circumstances in TIP cases; as well as victims' rights and compensation issues" noted Ms. Duishenbekova Gulnara, ex-judge, expert of the Kyrgyz Association of Women Judges, in her speech on findings and recommendations of the analysis.              

                                         

GLO.ACT significantly contributed to the conference of judges by providing detailed information on relevant UNODC online products such as UNODC Human Trafficking Knowledge Portal "CASE LAW DATABASE" and the recently published UNODC Case Digest: Evidential issues in Trafficking in Persons cases. All participants expressed their interest to actively use these online tools going forward and saw them as an important source of information to share with other colleagues in their respective countries.  

Over 90 judges of the Supreme Court and local courts attended the conference of judges as well as over 30 criminal justice practitioners, including police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers and representatives from crisis centers and civil society organizations. High-level officials including the chair of the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Governor of the Chui region, representatives of EU Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic and the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic provided welcoming remarks.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

For more information, please contact:

Madina Sarieva

madina.sarieva@un.org

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:  @glo_act