UNODC promotes adjudication of trafficking in persons crimes in line with the international norms and standards.

On 2-3 March, UNODC, jointly with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, hosted in Tashkent a regional workshop on adjudication of trafficking in persons cases. The workshop was held in hybrid format and brought together the representatives of judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and other anti-trafficking specialists of Central Asian countries to discuss the international standards and best practices in adjudication of trafficking in persons cases, and protecting and assisting victims of such crimes, evidence collection and evaluation, as well as international cooperation.

The event also provided an opportunity for the participants to share national practices of adjudication of trafficking crimes, including implemented strategies, adopted policies and laws, and put in efforts to ensure efficient protection of victims of trafficking. During a group work, the participants, together with UNODC international experts, discussed real cases from Italian and U.S courts, analysed various types of evidence used to prove trafficking in persons crimes with a special focus on trafficking in persons for sexual and labour exploitation, as well as for forced criminal activities, and explored the measures to protect victims.  

“UNODC is committed to support Member States in supressing trafficking and supporting victims of this crime through the advancement of fair trial and human-rights based criminal response thereto. We will continue to work with partners to promote awareness and especially coherent understanding of international norms and standards across Central Asia”, - noted Dr. Reda Sirgediene, UNODC Regional Adviser for Central Asia on Countering Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in her opening remarks.

Mr. Jahangir Juraev, Judge of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, emphasized the importance of such international workshops because “the adjudication of trafficking in persons crimes is a complex and challenging topic. In addition, it is also an essential part of our efforts to combat human trafficking and protect the rights of victims.” He also expressed the hope that this seminar would help to enrich the collective understanding of trafficking crimes and bring the national adjudication methods and techniques in line with international standards.

Dr. Reda Sirgediene introduced the participants to relevant international treaties, conventions and main instruments against trafficking in persons. While providing the overview of the key principles and guidelines of combating trafficking, she expounded how to ensure victim-centred, human rights-based and gender sensitive approach, the protection of and assistance to victims and witnesses, non-punishment principle, access to remedies and the best interests of a child during all stages of the criminal process.

The convoluted issues of sale of children and trafficking in children were also addressed via the comparison of terms enshrined in the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.  


Ms. Virginia Kendall, Judge of the Northern District of Illinois of the U.S. presented the American model of combating trafficking in persons and described the scope of the trafficking problem in the U.S. with the illustration of data on main areas of labour trafficking and profiles of victims. She also explained how the dedicated task force model works and responds to trafficking as well as how victims are referred to assistance and provided with protection. Processes of investigation, including investigative tools, that play a crucial role in holding accountable the criminals in trials were elucidated to participants during her session.

Ms. Simona Ragazzi, Judge of the Catania Court of Italy, shared the Italian experience in combating and adjudicating trafficking in persons and made participants acquainted with the European legal framework and Italian practice against trafficking in persons, investigation, prosecution and adjudication processes, the clause on the irrelevance of the victim consent for exploitation and aggravating circumstances trafficking cases.

Many questions related to evidentiary issues, victim testimony, qualification and classification of crime were addressed during Q&A sessions that provided a broader perspective and confidence to the involved judges and other criminal justice practitioners in dealing with trafficking cases.

The event was organised within the framework of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025 and UNODC Global Proagramme against Trafficking in Persons with the financial support of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.