ASTANA, 14 September 2011 – An OSCE-supported roundtable to discuss the conclusions and recommendations of a project on identifying victims of trafficking and related legal procedures began today in Astana.
At the event, the OSCE Centre in Astana presented the results of a six-month project to identify presumed victims of trafficking by monitoring places of detention and rehabilitation centres for juveniles and homeless people in the cities of Almaty, Taldykorgan, Shymkent, Astana, and Aktobe. The project was implemented by the NGO International Legal Initiative.
The meeting brought together some 30 participants from the Ministries of Labour, Justice, Internal Affairs and Education, state social rehabilitation centres for homeless persons and juveniles, as well as representatives of the non-governmental sector and international organizations.
“Effective identification procedures are essential to protect victims and ensure their access to justice,”said Stefan Buchmayer, the Human Dimension Officer of the OSCE Centre in Astana. “This project helped the authorities identify and provide support to 31 trafficking victims. We hope that the experience gained from the project will be used in the future to improve the country’s victim identification and protection system.”
Hana Snajdrova, the OSCE Strategic Police Matters Unit’s Adviser on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, presented the recent guidebook for law enforcement officers Trafficking in Human Beings: Identification of Potential and Presumed Victims. A Community Policing Approach. “It is important to refer victims to appropriate assistance and restore their rights. We hope the OSCE guidebook will serve to encourage a new community policing approach towards the identification of trafficked persons in Kazakhstan,” she said.
Armanbek Baymurzin, the Head of the Interior Ministry’s Organized Crime Control Department added: “In order to better combat human trafficking and related crimes, state bodies must undertake effective, co-ordinated actions in co-operation with the non-governmental sector.”
The roundtable was part of the Centre’s efforts to assist Kazakhstan in combating human trafficking.