Promoting Cooperation among Source, Transit and Destination Countries in Response to Human Trafficking

ROCA, in the framework of the Legal Advisory Programme, launched the initiative on promoting law enforcement and judicial cooperation among source, transit and destination countries in response to human trafficking in Central Asia in 2008. The initiative aimed at establishing a mechanism of regular contacts among senior practitioners involved in investigation, prosecution, adjudication of transnational TIP offences, and assistance/protection of victims  from Central Asia and their counterparts from main transit and destination countries so that they could solve casework problems, learn from each other practices and establish personal contacts. Also, the implementation of the initiative expected to bring domestic legal frameworks into closer compliance with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its TIP and SM protocols. The initiative has being realized through holding annually - in cooperation with IOM, OSCE and other international organization - inter-regional workshops that brought together Central Asian authorities, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and NGOs from five Central Asian countries and main transit and destination countries such as the Russian Federation, Turkey, Thailand, UAE, USA, and others. First, second and third annual workshops took place in Tashkent, Ashgabat and Abu Dhabi in May 2008, November 2009 and October 2010 respectively. They were attended by 180 practitioners from 16 countries. Establishment of the practitioners' network and exchange of good practices and lessons learned led to, among other things, the increased number of the identified victims from Central Asia in destination countries, the allocation and prosecution of traffickers, and adoption of the new TIP legislation in all participating countries. Ms. Nodira Karimova, the Director of the NGO "Istiqbolli Avlod" of Uzbekistan, noted at the workshop in Abu Dhabi: "This UNODC initiative allowed to start and develop the cooperation among Dubai Police, from one side, and Anti-human Trafficking Unit of the Ministry of Interior of Uzbekistan and our NGO, from another side. This cooperation allowed us to identify in UAE and repatriate to Uzbekistan 154 victims (in 2008, 2009 and 6 months of 2010) 40% of whom were provided with the shelter by NGO "Istiqbolli Avlod".