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On April 25-28, 2017 a four-day training on “Multidisciplinary and Multisectoral Approach to Investigation, Prosecution and Adjudication of Trafficking Cases” was organized in Ashgabat by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkmenistan within the framework of the three-year project on “Strengthening the National Action Plan (NAP) on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in Turkmenistan to ensure coordinated assistance and a victim-centered approach”, funded by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State. The conducted training was one of the main components of the project launched in October 2015, along with strengthening the country’s national human trafficking legislation, provision of training courses for law enforcement, judicial officials, and prosecutors, and development of a National Referral Mechanism (NRM)
The four-day training was organized with the aim to strengthen the capacity of 12 prosecutors, 2 judges, 3 advocates and 7 representatives of law enforcement agencies from Ashgabat, Ahal and Balkan velayats (regions) to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases more effectively, while using a victim-centered approach. At the beginning of the training, participants were familiarized with the objective and tasks of the training in the context of the counter trafficking projects, implemented by IOM Turkmenistan. This presentation, delivered by Ms. Mahym Orazmuhamedova, head of IOM office in Turkmenistan, helped to better understand the role of IOM and main achievements in the area of combating human trafficking, its cooperation with governmental institutions (ministries and agencies) as well as public organizations, involved in combating human trafficking, on the subject matter. The activities aimed at identification of victims of trafficking (VoTs) and provision of necessary assistance to VoTs. Two experienced trainers from Ukraine presented an overview of international instruments in the area of combating trafficking in persons such as the Palermo Protocol, EU Convention and the definition of TIP in line with international standards as well as types of exploitation through the screening of a video film. The experts also introduced participants to the aspects of criminal prosecution and trial of criminal cases, as well as international cooperation. During the training, the participants increased their knowledge and understanding of a multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach to combat human trafficking, possibilities of providing protection as well as assistance to VoTs, and a victim-centered approach in the identification of VoTs and investigation of trafficking cases.
It is important to note that a particular emphasis was made on interactivity through which the attendees were greatly involved in the discussions, working groups and role-plays. The participants had a good opportunity to compare the definition of TIP as defined by the Law of Turkmenistan and Amendment to the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan, which were recently approved and will take effect on January 1, 2017, with definitions outlined under the international treaties such as the Palermo Protocol, EU Convention and TIP legislation of other countries while working in small groups. The training participants discussed real cases and examples and tried to define these cases as crimes in accordance with the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan by giving them a crime qualification. The training also increased the knowledge and skills of judges and prosecutors to prove the offence of trafficking in order to reach concrete judicial verdicts.
Knowledge and skills acquired during the training allowed participants to present role-plays of conducting a trial of a criminal case.
As a result of the training, the increase of knowledge level on effective investigation, prosecution and adjudication of trafficking cases, as well as of provision of protection and assistance to VoTs applying a multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach of law enforcement officers, judges and advocates of Ashgabat, Ahal and Balkan velayats amounted to 42%. The conducted training course provided an opportunity for participants to actively discuss the new legal norms of the national regulatory acts, which were brought in line with international standards and their implementation in practice. The participants learned with interest that the new amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code on Administrative Offences envisage exoneration of victims of trafficking from liability. This training complemented previous and ongoing IOM project activities in Turkmenistan implemented in close cooperation with national authorities. The next training is planned to be conducted in Lebap region in June this year.
For more information, please contact:Ms. Gulyalek Berdiyeva