BAKU, 26 November 2013 –An international seminar organized by the OSCE Office on protection mechanisms for victims of human trafficking started in Baku today.
The two-day event aims at building the capacity of judges, prosecutors, and lawyers to prosecute for human trafficking and forced labour, as well as the protection of victims of trafficking.
“It is important to ensure that all parties involved in counter-trafficking acknowledge the vulnerability of victims,” said Ambassador Koray Targay, Head of the OSCE Office in Baku, in his opening speech. “A victim protection system should be put in place that would not criminalize victims for the offences they were forced to commit while being trafficked.”
The seminar will encompass in-depth discussions into the critical role of the judiciary in combating human trafficking, key issues that arise in courts, and problems that are faced with regard to testimony of victims. Participants will also discuss the issue of compensation for victims as a crucial element of an empowerment strategy. Another topic of discussion will be the role of bar associations in providing legal assistance to victims of trafficking and free legal aid system.
During the event, the OSCE Office will present the Azerbaijani version of the handbook developed by the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings on implementation of the non-punishment provision for victims of trafficking.