UNODC completed a series of Train of Trainer Seminars “Enhancing the Capacities of Local Actors in Combating Trafficking in Persons” in all regions of Uzbekistan

On 1–2 June 2022, the Territorial Commission on Combating Trafficking in Persons and Forced Labor of the Sirdaryo Region hosted the 14th Train of Trainer Seminar “Enhancing the Capacities of Local Actors in Combating Trafficking in Persons” (the ToT Seminar) for practitioners of the Sirdaryo Region delivered by UNODC jointly with the Sub-Commission on Combating Trafficking in Persons, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and Winrock International. Aimed at achieving consistent proficiency of relevant subject matter practitioners in all regions of Uzbekistan, the ToT seminars were implemented as part of the UNODC project financed by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), as well as the Safe Migration in Central Asia Project implemented by Winrock International and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).


The two-day trainings in all 14 regions of Uzbekistan covered 460 CTIP stakeholders, including judges, prosecutors, internal affairs officers, specialists of healthcare, labour and employment departments as well as town and district administrations and NGO representatives involved in countering trafficking in persons (TIP).

With special interactive sessions devoted for two categories of target groups – the judiciary and law enforcement on qualification and investigation of TIP cases and the civil society and civil servants on identification and referral of TIP victims. After breaking up into groups, the first group reviewed TIP and related crimes within the context of national legislation, qualification of TIP crimes, TIP trends in the region and local court practice in adjudication of TIP crimes.

Furthermore, subject matter practitioners made the most of practical case studies and interactive group works through up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of tailored TIP related crimes with legal and situational contexts and backgrounds, led by Dr. Reda Sirgediene, UNODC Regional Adviser on TIP and Smuggling of Migrants for Central Asia. Moreover, the expert engaged by UNODC, Mr. Vincent Dean presented the UK experience in detection and investigation of TIP crimes, evidence collection, and identification and referral of TIP victims, and afterwards had a lengthy, yet very informative question and answer session with participants. 

The second group agenda included study of the recently adopted amended TIP Law, national victim referral mechanism, new protocols for victim identification, and the roles of the members of territorial commissions on combating TIP and forced labor and NGOs in victim identification, referral and support with consideration of victim-centred and trauma-informed approach to the services. Social workers also were trained on development of strategic programs and plans aimed at combating TIP.

Also, the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020 and US TIP Report 2021: Recommendations for Uzbekistan were neatly presented during the first joint session of the event.

The second day of the training was dedicated to another practical exercise – simulation of identification of TIP in groups. The drill created rewarding experience for participants to broaden their knowledge of national referral mechanism and characteristics of TIPg victims, as well as enhance their capacity in handling TIP victims and conducting their interviews.

“The series of regional train of trainer seminars proved to be very useful and valuable for subject matter practitioners. I am sure that obtained expertise will be directly and extensively applied in their work”, emphasized Mr. Azizbek Nasretdinov, representative of the Sub-Commission on Combating Trafficking in Persons, Officer of the Department for Combating TIP and Illegal Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Moreover, the trainings contributed to significant increase of initiated TIP investigations over 50% in 2021–2022. For instance, after the seminar in Samarkand region organized on 13–14 April 2022, one of the trainee-participants from the regional healthcare department further disseminated obtained knowledge among healthcare workers. As a result, during a medical examination of a young woman in Samarkand region, a doctor identified several women potential TIP victims and immediately referred them to relevant bodies. 

In addition, the trainings helped to improve partnerships and referrals of TIP victims between responsible practitioners. For example, as a result of the training in Jizzakh region organized on 17–18 May 2021, for the first time in Uzbekistan, a Memorandum of Cooperation on the investigation of TIP cases was signed between the regional court and local NGOs, namely NGO“Istiqlol Avlodi”and NGO “Istiqbolli Avlod. Based on this agreement, more than 60 members of the territorial commission on combating TIP and forced labot were further trained in four districts of the region.

In 2021, a wrap up event organised in Tashkent on June 17 was concluded with recommendations on further development of the fight against TIP, which were shared with the national authorities of the Republic of Uzbekistan including the National Commission on Combating TIP and Forced Labor.