UNODC Urges Central Asian Countries to Ensure Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking and Smuggled Migrants

On June 25-27, 2012, UNODC convened the regional train-the-trainers course for judges and prosecutors "Applying international standards to ensure protection and assistance measures towards victims of human trafficking and smuggled migrants" in Tashkent. This event was conducted in the framework of the UNODC's regional project "Strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian Republics to protect and assist victims of human trafficking and smuggled migrants, especially women and children, in partnership with NGO and civil society actors" which is funded by the European Union.

Opening remarks were provided by His Excellency Mr. Norbert Jousten, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Jakhongir Khaydarov, Director of the Research Center for the Democratization and Liberalization of Judicial Legislation and Ensuring the Independence of the Judiciary under the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan, and Ms. Olga Zudova, Senior Regional Legal Adviser of UNODC ROCA.

The training course was moderated by Ms. Olga Zudova, UNODC Senior Regional Legal Adviser (Almaty, Kazakhstan) and co-facilitated by the panel of international experts: Ms. Radmila Dicic, the Judge of the Supreme Court of Serbia, Mr. Sagi Ofir, the Prosecutor from the Jerusalem District Prosecution of Israel, Ms. Malokhat Muratova, a licensed lawyer from the most prominent NGO in Uzbekistan Istiqbolly Avlod as well as internal experts Ms. Gauhar Kirneyeva, Expert from Anti-Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants Section of UNODC HQs in Vienna. The main participants of the training were the trainers/experts currently working at the specialized national training centers which provide advanced training for judges and prosecutors in all respective countries. In total, there were 28 participants from all five Central Asia countries representing Supreme Courts, Ministries of Justice and General Prosecutor's Offices.

As an outcome of this course, the participants were able to improve their knowledge and skills on basics of training delivery techniques; discuss the cases with main challenges faced by Central Asian countries in identifying victims of human trafficking and smuggled migrants and in providing assistance and protection to them;  basic international standards and necessary tools to protect and assist victims of human trafficking and smuggled migrants (in particular of women and children) throughout the various pretrial investigations, trial and post-trial proceedings phases and, d) the role of NGOs in countering human trafficking and smuggled migrants and effective mechanisms of collaboration with criminal justice agencies. The participants have also visited the Rehabilitation Center for the victims of human trafficking of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Uzbekistan and were able to talk with the administration.

UNODC ROCA will continue the provision of technical assistance to the Central Asia countries in their efforts to run effective programs to ensure protection and assistance to victims and witnesses of human trafficking and smuggled migrants.