Human trafficking affects virtually all OSCE states, either as countries of origin or destination. This modern form of slavery is an affront to human dignity, often involving psychological terror and physical violence. Human trafficking engages issues of human rights and rule of law, of law enforcement and crime control, of inequality and discrimination, of corruption, economic deprivation and migration.
It is estimated that approximately one million Tajik individuals have migrated abroad, in search of work opportunities. Tajikistan is a source country for men, women and children who become victims of trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labour.
The Office assists the Government of Tajikistan in its efforts to combat human trafficking, and activities are developed on the basis of two main sets of documents: the state's National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. The Office further supports activities which strengthen coherence with international standards and commitments. Recommendations from civil society are also considered in programming.
In 2008, the Office began co-operating with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the OSCE's Strategic Police Matters Unit to enhance the capacity of law enforcement personnel and institutions to prevent and prosecute trafficking in human beings. Working with the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Office has supported the development of a permanent course on human trafficking identification and investigation for fourth-year cadets at the Academy, using interactive teaching methodologies. Eighty students completed the course in 2010.
The importance of coordinating activities and assistance has resulted in the establishment of quarterly, high-level Dialogues on Human Trafficking, chaired by the Government of Tajikistan and attended by international organizations and civil society organizations. International and civil society organizations participate in the Working Group on the development of the Second National Action Plan on combating trafficking in human beings.
The Office supports anti-trafficking experts and officials in Tajikistan to participate in relevant regional and international anti-trafficking events and conferences.