International Judicial Cooperation and Mutual Legal Assistance in Investigation of Trafficking in Persons Cases in Focus During UNODC and USAID/Winrock Workshop in Turkmenistan

With the aim to strengthen international judicial cooperation and promote the provision of mutual legal assistance between countries of origin, transit and destination during the investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases, UNODC jointly with the USAID/Winrock Safe Migration in Central Asia Program organized working consultations for criminal justice practitioners from Turkmenistan with their counterparts from the Republic of Turkey.

Noting the principal importance of conducting such meetings on a regular basis, Ms. Nino Nadiradze, USAID representative in Turkmenistan, said: “Like other global issues, human trafficking requires coordinated action to ensure the safety and protection of human life, rule of law, prosperity and sustainable development, both locally and internationally. Cross-border organized crime groups involved in human trafficking use a variety of methods to expand their criminal activities, so increased international judicial cooperation, based on strong legal frameworks adopted by countries of origin, transit and destination, is critical to counter these organized crime groups. Also, international cooperation has fundamental solutions for the investigation and prosecution of cases related to trafficking in persons, as well as for providing timely support to victims.”

UNODC staff and experts briefed the participants on existing tools and networks developed and established by UNODC to facilitate mutual legal assistance and judicial cooperation on criminal matters. Representatives from Turkey and Turkmenistan shared their experience with mutual legal assistance and discussed the specificities of their respective criminal procedures in relation to the provision of mutual legal assistance.

“UN Member States are working together to take measures to counter today's global challenges and threats, including transnational organized crime. With regard to trafficking in persons, Turkmenistan cooperates with other countries and their competent authorities, as well as international organizations working in this area, to counter this crime”, said Mr. Guvanch Bazarov, Senior Prosecutor of the International Relations Department of the General Prosecutor's Office of Turkmenistan.

Noting the importance of international judicial cooperation, Mr. Bazarov stressed that Turkmenistan has concluded intergovernmental agreements on mutual legal assistance and extradition with the following states: with the CIS countries within the framework of the Minsk Convention, with Georgia, the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Republic of Armenia, Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey. "A new agreement on mutual legal assistance with the United Arab Emirates is also being finalised", said Mr. Bazarov.

UNODC supports capacity development, as well as experience and best practices exchange of law enforcement and justice authorities to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking with support from the US State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).


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