Experts Discuss How to Combat Human Trafficking


More than a hundred Kazakhstanis become victims of human trafficking every year. The figure is only growing. The trend is associated with the population's impoverishment. People go abroad, hoping to earn more money. Orda has learned more about the situation. 

Young Girls and Children

25 million people in the world become victims of human trafficking every year. This is what international non-governmental organizations report. The number of victims is much higher, however. Traffickers usually silence their victims by threatening physical violence.

70% of the victims are women and children. Some are taken for the purpose of sexual exploitation, others for adoption. The growth of this criminal business is due to its high profitability. According to the estimates of an international organization, the turnover of funds is approximately $150 billion.

Job Announcement Can Be Fatal

In Kazakhstan, the number of human trafficking victims is also growing. 110 such crimes have been registered since the beginning of the year. Most of them are under the article for pandering and brothel–keeping (67), human trafficking (24) and prostitution. And, socially vulnerable segments remain more at risk of human trafficking.

In search of a better life, people become victims of trafficking. This often happens when Kazakhstanis are looking for work abroad via the Internet, for example, through ads in social networks. Then they go for an interview. They can be recruited there in the future,says Ruslan Zhaksylykov, senior lecturer at the Department of Special Training in Countering Global Threats at the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies under the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Indeed, there are more and more people crossing the border to earn money. Law enforcement agencies advise Kazakhstanis to find out all the details before going abroad.

Before leaving, you need to study the legislation of the country where you are going through the websites of embassies. If you end up in slavery, you need to know their contacts and addresses and go to the embassies for help. Through law enforcement agencies, you should find out if there is such a company, where you go and what it does, advises Ruslan Zhaksylykov.

According to experts, it is time to strengthen the approach to solving this problem. To this end, the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies under the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan organized an international conference before the International Day against Human Trafficking.

Today, on behalf of the head of state, an interdepartmental working group under the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has developed a draft law "On combating human trafficking". It is aimed at the implementation of such tasks as the creation of legal and organizational foundations of state policy, the identification of State bodies and non-governmental organizations that are the subjects of counteraction, and the consolidation of their competencies, the settlement of issues of interdepartmental coordination and interaction, assistance to victims of trafficking and the protection of their rights. Now the project is under consideration in the Majilis, the acting rector of the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies, Kaliolla Seitenov.

"Four Ps"

Kazakhstan is a party to more than 60 treaties in the field of human rights. 13 of them are related to countering challenges and forms of slavery. At the same time, the work of government agencies is focused on the introduction of an international approach - the "four P's" – prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnership.

Victims, after their identification, should receive full support and all social services. This implies their recovery from the horror they experienced,says the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office in Central Asia, Ashita Mittal.

Prevention is about raising awareness about the risks of human trafficking. Both the civil sector and law enforcement agencies, companies, and even the media should be involved.

For example, back in 2011, there was an incident with a child. An Alaska Airlines flight attendant saved a human trafficking victim by secretly communicating with a teenager in a toilet. She noticed a strange couple among the passengers - a personable and well-dressed man with a dishevelled teenager. The Airline Ambassadors charity organization subsequently launched a campaign to train crew members to combat human trafficking. Flight attendants are told how to recognize suspicious situations on board and are taught operational actions.

Cyber Fraud Camps

Such cases are rather an exception to the rule. Criminals usually recruit young girls via the Internet and then smuggle them to Bahrain or South Korea. There they are met by accomplices, their passports are taken away, and then they are taken and exploited under threat of physical violence.

Over the past year, more knowledge has emerged about the cyber fraud camps in which IT specialists from Central Asia have been recruited. They have also been forced to engage in criminal activity. That is, these are programmers who came to work in Southeast Asia and fell into the networks of criminals.

Our partners in USAID–supported programs work with public organizations and the private sector, including information and technology companies, as well as with governments in the field of prevention and protection of victims of this phenomenon, communicating with victims and connecting communities to remedies,says Rodney Ferguson, President of Winrock International.

Daniel Rosenblum, US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Kazakhstan spoke about examples of effective practices in the fight against trafficking.

The interaction between NGOs, the government and the police, the prosecutor's office is important. And I've seen it work in Central Asia. There is also a well-established interaction between the police of various countries, for example, the police of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This facilitates the collection of evidence and the return of victims of trafficking to their homeland,Daniel Rosenblum believes.

International conferences, trainings, and other events that are held periodically in different countries belong to the "fourth P", i.e., partnership. Only through interaction and cooperation is success possible, as human trafficking has no boundaries.

And the location of Central Asia at the intersection of its main routes – Russia, Afghanistan, Türkiye, the Middle East, Europe and Asia – only exacerbates this issue.

Experts are confident that it is necessary to adopt comprehensive strategies for improving the regulatory framework and building the capacity of law enforcement and judicial authorities. Namely, it is necessary to strengthen measures in the field of detection and investigation of cases of international human trafficking.

Orignal Author: Rayana Batyr

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original article in Russian for accuracy.

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