ASTANA, 28 June 2012 – An OSCE-organized international conference to share best practices and experience in preventing trafficking in children in vulnerable groups was held in Astana today.
The forum, co-organized by the OSCE Centre in Astana in co-operation with the Education Ministry, the US Embassy in Kazakhstan and the non-governmental organization the Feminist League, provided an opportunity to discuss the results of an OSCE-supported project on trafficking prevention strategies and the risks of trafficking among vulnerable groups, particularly children with special needs. This project included eight seminars conducted throughout the country for social workers, psychologists, teachers and law-enforcement personnel.
Ambassador Natalia Zarudna, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana said: “Strengthening the capacity of educational and social institutions at the central and regional levels, and enhancing their interaction with civil society is key to effectively addressing the problem of human trafficking, in particular for children in vulnerable groups. Trafficking prevention handbooks and brochures specifically tailored for children with special needs could be a valuable instrument to continue related efforts.”
The event brought together some 50 officials from the Parliament, the Supreme Court, the Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, Health, Education, as well as the Ombudsman institution, the General Prosecutor’s Office, and civil society and international organization representatives. Experts from the Central Asian countries, Bulgaria, Greece and the Russian Federation spoke on national policies and practices to prevent trafficking in children at risk.
Raissa Sher, the Head of the Ministry of Education’s Children Protection Committee, said: “Kazakhstan has ratified a number of treaties, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. To ensure the proper implementation of these international documents we established an effective system to facilitate co-operation between all the major actors involved, including NGOs. We are confident that today’s constructive dialogue on the prevention of trafficking, especially in children, will help us to pursue policies that protect children’s rights.”
The conference is a part of the OSCE Centre’s longstanding efforts to assist Kazakhstan in combating trafficking in human beings.