Youth Against Human Trafficking: UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia supports the series of contests and online conference in Uzbekistan

Human trafficking is the third largest crime in the world. Despite the fact there is national human trafficking legislation in almost every country, people are still being trafficked worldwide.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office in Central Asia in cooperation with national and international stakeholders – the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Agency for Youth Affairs, Youth Union of Uzbekistan, UNDP and UNESCO conducted online awareness-raising campaign for youth. The young people from every corner of Uzbekistan - from Fergana Valley to the Republic of Karakalpakstan were involved in this process. The campaign under the slogan “Youth against human trafficking!” was launched on 10 July and finalized on 19 August. The campaign consisted of five thematic contests: the best video, article, fine art, photo and essay on the subject of “Youth against human trafficking!” produced by young people of Uzbekistan.

Since many of the human trafficking cases involve young people looking for income abroad, this campaign was aligned with World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and pursued the following objectives:

  • to inform young people about the dangers and threats that victims of human trafficking face, and what to do in case one gets in this situation;
  • to call young people to fight together against human trafficking, one of the most terrible crime that breaks fundamental human rights;
  • to inform young people of the legal basis of working abroad;
  • to express appreciation to those who work for victims of trafficking in different sectors identifying, supporting, counselling and seeking justice, and challenging the impunity of the traffickers.

Thousands of submissions by young people all over the country were presented to the jury, composed of representatives of the Agency for Youth Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia.

The campaign was concluded with the nationwide online conference held on 20 August which gathered more than 100 young people from different regions of Uzbekistan.

At the conference, Mr. Akmalbek Alimov, Head of Legal Department of the Agency for Youth Affairs highlighted: “I believe that preventative measures such as sharing relevant information may save young people from a wide range of crimes. Today we united our efforts with UNODC and other international and national partners in hope that the results of our work will support young people in building a positive future without falling as a victim of trafficking”.

Ms. Gulnar Kudaybergenova, National Project Officer at UNODC Regional Office for Central Asiapresented global statistics and definitions of types of human trafficking, as well as global actions by UNODC in supporting states to address the issue of human trafficking, including the work in the education sector.

Ms. Zukhra Khodjayeva, Head of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Secretary of the Subcommission on Combating Human Trafficking noted that ‘the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed the amended Law on Combating Human Trafficking on 18 August 2020. The revised law includes an article on the main directions of state policy in the field of combating human trafficking’.

Another guest of the conference Mr. Bekzod Mamadjanov, Chief Specialist of the Department of Combating Human Trafficking under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who works directly with young people, talked about preventive measures, possible consequences, and where to seek help if someone ends up in such situation.

The event also hosted the awarding ceremony for the winners of the online contests. The best works were presented to the public and received very positive feedback from the participants.

The campaign was organized within the framework of the Joint UN project “Youth for Social Harmony in the Fergana Valley” supported by UN Peacebuilding Fund and implemented by UNODC together with UNDP, UNESCO, the Agency for Youth Affairs, and Youth Union of Uzbekistan.


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Shakhnoza Zafari
Communication and External Relations Officer