UNODC, USAID and Winrock International enhance work on fighting trafficking in persons in Turkmenistan

On May 31, UNODC in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and USAID/Winrock International conducted an online coordination meeting on countering trafficking in persons in Turkmenistan.

“Over the past years, UNODC has developed and passed to our partners from law enforcement and the justice sector a training manual, which was specifically developed to facilitate training on investigation and prosecution of human trafficking in Turkmenistan in line with international standards and national legislation”, stated Mr. Koen Marquering, UNODC Central Asia Programme Coordinator.

“Based on the manual, we have implemented a training program for at least 76 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges in Turkmenistan. UNODC also has a very good experience in conducting joint public awareness raising campaigns at the national level and in the regions (velayats). A legal assessment of national legislation in terms of compliance with international standards is also available”, he concluded.

The event brought together key stakeholders from the public sector, the Office of the Ombudsman and international development partners to discuss strategies, challenges, and lessons learned in international efforts to combat trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and modern slavery. Representatives from the General Prosecutor’s Office reported on the implementation of Turkmenistan’s National Action Plan 2020-2022.

“This event is devoted to the upcoming World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Trafficking in persons can generate annual global revenues of up to $ 150 billion, which is an international security issue that fosters corruption, irregular migration and terrorism”, said Ms. Nino Nadiradze, USAID Country Representative to Turkmenistan, who also highlighted the importance of the global “Blue Heart” and related awareness raising campaigns, which encourage States and individuals to support the fight against human trafficking.

UNODC presented its 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons and briefed the participants on mutual legal assistance in the context of UNODC’s judicial cooperation network for Central Asia and South Caucasus. Participants also learned about the Council of Europe’s HELP program, the Smart Navigator Program in Kazakhstan and the work of the International Center for Migration Policy Development.

Meeting participants discussed ongoing counter-trafficking initiatives in Turkmenistan and outlined capacity development needs of law enforcement and other stakeholders in the field of identification, investigation, and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases. The importance of international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal cases, as well as conducting joint public awareness raising campaigns, were also discussed.

UNODC supports capacity development 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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