UNODC and INL Support Kyrgyz Government in Its Fight Against Trafficking in Persons in the Country

The fight against trafficking in persons is one of the priority tasks for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Programme Office in the Kyrgyz Republic aimed at protecting and promoting human rights, as well as combating transnational organized crime.

As part of its project implementation on combating trafficking in persons, with financial support from Bureau of the US Department of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement  Affairs (INL), UNODC held a final conference on implementation of the Kyrgyz Government's Anti-Trafficking Program for 2018 - 2019  by Coordination Councils in the regions and discussed planned  activities for 2020.

In 2019 Coordination Councils in seven regions of Kyrgyzstan and Osh city undertook more than 5,000 awareness raising events reaching 80,000 residents of the country.

According to Mr. Micah Savidge, Director of INL in the Kyrgyz Republic: "The United States puts out a trafficking in persons report every year and the Kyrgyz Republic is under watch list since 2018. Our joint goal with the Kyrgyz Government is to exclude Kyrgyz Republic from the watch list this year and it can be possible only with the efforts of everyone involved.  This is important topic for the United States because we would like to help all countries in the world to end modern slavery".

The State Department places each country in this Report onto one of four tiers, as mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. (TVPA). This placement is based not on the size of the country's problem but on the extent of governments' efforts to meet the TVPA's minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, which are generally consistent with the Palermo Protocol. Kyrgyzstan is under Tier 2 Watch List, which is represented by countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA's minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, and which fail to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, including increased investigations, prosecution, and convictions of trafficking crimes.

"We work to strengthen the role and capacity of local government authorities in 8 regions in community engagement and public outreach for preventing and combating of trafficking in persons (TIP). This is being achieved through institutional development of TIP Coordination Councils including civil society and youth organizations in 8 regions on issues related to monitoring and evaluation of activities implemented within endorsed TIP local action plans as well as proper reporting to the TIP coordinating government agency - State Migration Service and the Government Administration", said Ms. Madina Sarieva, UNODC International Programme Coordinator in Central Asia.

In November 2017, the new Government Programme on combating trafficking in persons and its Action Plan for the period 2017-2020 was officially endorsed by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. One of the key objectives of the Government Programme is to strengthen the coordinating role of government administrations in the regions. It envisages the establishment Coordination Councils on trafficking in persons (TIP Coordination Councils) at regional level in order to ensure effective interagency cooperation and coordinate joint efforts of government bodies and civil society organizations in the regions. In this regard, there was a need to strengthen the capacity of the Government Administration including its representations in regions to coordinate and supervise implementation of the Law on preventing and countering trafficking in persons and Government Programme on combating trafficking in persons and its Action Plan for 2017-2020.

In May 2018, UNODC supported the Government with establishment of TIP Coordination Councils in 7 regions and Osh city in partnership with State Migration Service and Government Administration. UNODC provided methodological support in development of a unified Charter of TIP Coordination Councils including its membership and working arrangements and conducted relevant capacity development activities for members of TIP Coordination Councils on developing and endorsement of local action plans on implementation of Government Programme in each region and Osh city. As a result, the TIP local action plans have been developed and endorsed for the period 2018-2019 by each local government administration in 7 region and Osh city, and relevant activities have been implemented including nationwide awareness raising campaign "100 days against TIP".

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