(left-right) Zhangali Kenbaev, Moderator; Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings; Volker Frobarth, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana and Robert Heuer, Head of the Human Dimension Department of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe at OSCE Central Asian regional conference on strengthening law enforcement co-operation in combating trafficking in human beings, Astana, 4 October 2022. (OSCE)
5 October 2022
An OSCE Central Asian regional conference on strengthening law enforcement co-operation in combating trafficking in human beings, co-organized by the Programme Office in Dushanbe and the Programme Office in Astana, in co-operation with the Office of the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, was held on 4 and 5 October 2022 in Astana.
The objective of the conference was to improve cross-border co-ordination between the law enforcement agencies of Central Asian countries in identifying, investigating and protecting the rights of victims of human trafficking.
Law enforcement officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan discussed current issues and challenges in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings and shared the best experiences of OSCE participating States in enhancing the institutional response to cases of human trafficking
In his opening remarks, Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings said: “There is a growing disparity between a high number of estimated victims and an extremely low rate of investigations, prosecutions and convictions. To revert the tide, we need to exercise a holistic approach, addressing factors that drive supply and demand of the trafficking in human beings business model, as well as using all available means to hold perpetrators accountable: from making the best use of technology and implementing our laws, to following the money to ensure that the crime does not pay.”
“Keeping in mind the increasing pressure to Central Asia as a region of destination, transit and origin, it is important more than ever to inspire concerted action when addressing human trafficking. This is a stark example of why we need effective multilateralism: large, complex and common problems are better tackled together, with common strategies and multi-faced approaches,” said Volker Frobarth, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana stressed.
Tea Jaliashvili, the Acting Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, emphasized that the event is an opportunity to “exchange experiences, discuss challenges of investigating the transnational crimes, share best practices and advance regional and international co-operation to combat human trafficking.”
The participants developed recommendations for the strengthening of both regional and international co-operation and co-ordination between law enforcement agencies of the Central Asian countries towards effectively combating trafficking in human beings.