Victims, Not Villains! New UNODC Training Film Promotes Criminal Prosecution of Human Trafficking in Central Asia

Tashkent, 13 April 2018 - Protecting victims and addressing their needs is crucial for the successful prosecution of human trafficking offenses. This is the key message of a new training film presented by the Office of the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United States Government at a round table dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the adoption of Uzbekistan's Law on Combating Human Trafficking, held recently in Tashkent.

"The Law on Combating Human Trafficking has been instrumental in coordinating national action to counter this phenomenon and protecting the rights of our citizens" - said Mr. Gayrat Khidoyatov, Uzbekistan's Deputy Prosecutor General. "Thanks to the joint efforts of State bodies and civil society under the auspices of the Anti-Human Trafficking Interdepartmental Commission we have managed to reduce the number of trafficking cases", he added.

In Uzbekistan, law enforcement bodies register more than 400 cases of human trafficking every year. During the past 4 years the number of victims identified by the authorities has declined from 1279 in 2014 to 573 in 2017. In 2017, over 12 % of victims were children. Men who made up around 35% of all victims last year are trafficked for forced labour. Comprising 53% of the total, women are mostly coerced into sexual exploitation. Cases in which newborn babies are sold off have also occurred.

Entitled "Victims not villains", the new educational film highlights the role of prosecutors, judges, lawyers, social workers and non-governmental organizations in ensuring that court proceedings in which trafficked persons are involved are not prejudicial to their rights, dignity or physical or psychological well-being.

"The film demonstrates best practice in how to address the needs of victims and witnesses, afford assistance and protection measures during trial" - noted Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia. "The film also discusses commonly encountered defense strategies and raises awareness of the concept of compensation and its value in human trafficking cases", she highlighted.

The film is expected to be used to train criminal justice practitioners in all the countries of Central Asia on the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.

With funding provided by the U.S. Government, UNODC supports Uzbekistan and other countries in the region to strengthen their criminal justice response to trafficking in persons within the framework of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019.


For more information

Please, contact Mr. Koen Marquering,

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia

E-mail: koen.marquering[at]