Human Rights

OSCE-backed training seminar in Kazakhstan focuses on human trafficking



Actresses portray enslaved girls forced to engage in prostitution during OSCE training on combating human trafficking conducted in Koshi village, Akmola Province, September 27, 2018. Traffickers beat their prisoners and addict them to drugs, say law enforcement officers and analysts. [Aydar Ashimov]

ALMATY -- Kazakh officials took part in a two-day seminar on combating human trafficking backed by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the OSCE said in a statement Tuesday (December 17).

Terrorist organisations such as "Islamic State" (IS) have used human trafficking to help finance their causes and as a tool in recruitment. For example, to attract new fighters, IS kidnapped Yazidi women and girls in Iraq to be used as sex slaves for men who join the militant group.

The seminar in Almaty, which concluded on December 13, was supported by the OSCE, US embassy in Nur-Sultan and the Kazakh Interior Ministry.

Twenty-eight labour inspectors and akimat (provincial government) secretaries responsible for provincial anti-human-trafficking commissions, as well as a number of representatives of law enforcement agencies and NGOs, attended the seminar.

The training focused on the role of labour inspectors in fighting human trafficking as well as on the working mechanisms of the Kazakh inter-agency anti-human-trafficking commission.

Participants learned about the importance of co-operation between government agencies and international NGOs, as well as on the monitoring and exchange of information.

The seminar is part of the OSCE's efforts to help Kazakhstan combat human trafficking and to implement the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, the organisation said in the statement.

In September 2018, the OSCE held a live-action exercise in Kazakhstan on countering human trafficking, complete with actors and simulated environments.

"More than 50 professionals from law enforcement, labour inspectorates, financial investigative units, prosecutorial offices, NGOs and social services" from 14 OSCE partners and members took part in the week-long simulation in Koshi, Akmola Province, in 2018, according to the OSCE.

The live-action training was focused on how to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking, project organisers said.

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