The International Press Club (IPC) hosted a special session dedicated to the World Day against Trafficking in Persons
30 July is the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, with this year’s thematic focus being 'responding to the trafficking of children and young people'. This year's campaign highlights the fact that almost a third of trafficking victims are children. Hence, the theme draws attention to the issues faced by trafficked children and to ensure possible action initiatives linked to safeguarding and ensuring justice for child victims.
In advance of the day, the General Prosecutors Office of Uzbekistan, the International Press Club, and the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia organized a special session to discuss the challenges and the collective response that is being undertaken by Uzbekistan. A short video prepared by the Information and Analytical Multimedia Center of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan was aired, presenting the key highlights of the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2016.
One of the key priority areas of the Action Strategy of the Republic of Uzbekistan 2017-2021 is to improve the system of combatting crime and crime prevention via strengthening the organizational and practical measures to fight all forms of organized crime.
In June 2018, UNODC and the Prosecutor General's Office of Uzbekistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), reiterating their commitment to further enhancing cooperation including on combatting transnational organized crime.
Uzbekistan is signatory to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, supplementing the Convention, with 2018 marking the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Law on Combating Human Trafficking of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
During the special session, Ms. Ashita Mittal, the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, shared detailed information on the challenges faced by the Central Asian states in regard to human trafficking as well as the states’ response on preventing, prosecuting, and protecting its people while also building productive partnerships.
Mr. Uygun Nigmadjanov, Head of Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan shared information on human trafficking prosecution legislation and the key agencies dealing with human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants in Uzbekistan.
Mr. Ulugbek Gaynazarov, Head of Department for Combating Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan, shared information on the human trafficking situation in Uzbekistan, and the strategy being adopted for combatting the crime, specifically by the Republican Interagency Commission for Countering Trafficking in Persons.
Mr. Ravshan Ibragimov, Director of the Agency for External Labor Migration under the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations of the Republic of Uzbekistan, discussed cases of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in terms of labor relations.
“Human trafficking is a transnational organized crime that should be addressed through global, regional and national cooperation. This session provided a good opportunity to showcase the results of the joint commitment of the Government of Uzbekistan, civil society and the international community to address human trafficking through the engagement of the whole society.” – said Ms. Mittal, the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia.
Representatives from the OSCE, IOM, US, Italy, UK and other diplomatic missions, civil society, including Women’s Committee, Youth Union, “Istiqbolli Avlod” NGO and representatives from the media presented their perspectives.
Using the opportunity on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the participants reached a consensus on further strengthening partnerships and to seek solutions as a joint shared responsibility.