Over 10 000 people participated in the "100 Days against Trafficking in Persons" campaign in Kyrgyzstan

"The Kyrgyz Republic is a source and transit country for trafficking in persons (TIP). Typically, people from rural areas are trafficked to Turkey and United Arab Emirates for sexual exploitation and to Russia and Kazakhstan for labour exploitation. The Kyrgyz government recently endorsed a government programme and an Action Plan for 2017-2020 in its fight against TIP. This programme and action plan serve as a legal framework for all government stakeholders and other relevant partners to join efforts and mobilize resources in the fight against TIP. However, until recently its implementation at local level remained a complex issue, primarily due to lack of coordination and weak engagement of local government authorities and civil society organizations working in the regions." - reports the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Early this year, on 12 January, local government authorities, civil society organizations and international community met at the conference to discuss the outcomes of the nationwide awareness raising campaign entitled "100 Days against Trafficking in Persons" and implemented within the framework of GLO.ACT. Having started on July 31, the campaign was concluded on 20 November 2017. GLO.ACT supported the delivery of the awareness raising campaigns in seven regions of Kyrgyzstan in partnership with  IOM and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (  OSCE). 

The campaign covered a broad range of public events organized by each region. Over 10,000 people participated in press conferences, regional launch events, live TV programmes, live radio phone-in shows, forum theatres, round table discussions, bicycle marathons and dance and song contests.

Significantly, there was considerable youth engagement in all of the events. In addition, outreach meetings and free legal consultations were provided on the risks of human trafficking and migrant smuggling to population in rural areas.

The closing conference aimed to ensure that experiences on the delivery, implementation and impact of the campaign could be shared amongst all key stakeholders; this included a discussion on some of the challenges certain regions faced, as well as the development of recommendations. A key recommendation was to have a nationwide "100 Days against TIP" campaign run on an annual basis.

The closing conference was attended by the Chairperson of the State Migration Service under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, deputy governors from the seven regions, 15 representatives of civil society organizations, the European Union and IOM.

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, including the Kyrgyz republic.

Full article: Best practice in fighting human trafficking: Build strong relationships between local government authorities and civil society