Public Awareness Raising Campaigns - Main Instrument to Preventing Trafficking in Persons

3 July2019, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - UNODC Program Office in Turkmenistan conducted a two-day workshop on improving capacity of public sector representatives, youth and civil society organizations and mass media. The workshop was dedicated to conducting public awareness raising campaigns on root causes, consequences and indicators of trafficking in persons which is the main instrument to preventing and revealing the crime.

Over 15 representatives of government institutions and civil society organizations, including the office of Ombudsman, the Parliament, the Prosecutor General's Оffice, Women's Union, Ministries of Internal Affairs, Education, Sport and Youth Policy of Turkmenistan improved knowledge and skills on effective cooperation of all sectors of society to fight against trafficking in persons; effective tools of carrying out preventive measures within public awareness raising events; and the role of the mass media on enlightenment of this issue among population.

During the workshop, Ms. Rimma Sultanova and Ms. Alena Muhovikova, UNODC international experts, presented a ten-step approach for effective planning and conducting the public events devoted to the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, as well as shared the best practices of Central Asian countries, in particular "100 days against trafficking in persons" campaign in Kyrgyzstan. Ms. Sultanova noted that educational and awareness raising events play an important role in preventing this phenomenon, in a sense that trafficking in persons cases acknowledged by law enforcement and broader public; people are informed on relevant government initiatives, support systems, hotlines etc.

During the workshop participants developed and agreed on a number of ideas and activities devoted to the observation of World Day against Trafficking in Persons, as well as drafted a document on Plan of Activities on observing World Day against Trafficking in Persons in Turkmenistan which will be submitted for approval of the government. The workshop was organized in close collaboration with USAID office in Turkmenistan.

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