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Combating trafficking in persons in Turkmenistan: capacity building of Law Enforcement officers and involved government agencies (2009-2011)

Training eventThe project aims to contribute to combating trafficking in persons in Turkmenistan, through awareness raising and capacity building activities. Within the framework of the project, IOM’s counter-trafficking activities will be focused on law enforcement cooperation and capacity building by dissemination of information and organizing training on anti-trafficking legislation as well as on the effective methods to combat the phenomenon of trafficking based on international experience and best practices.  The project also proposes to organize a study tour for relevant government agencies to Turkey followed by the establishment of a network and database between these participating government agencies in Turkmenistan.

 Project period: 22 September 2009 – 21 September 2011

Project Donor: International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US State department

Project summary

The project aims to contribute to combating trafficking in persons in Turkmenistan, through awareness raising and capacity building activities. This project will be a follow up to a previous project financed by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, which is to be completed in November 2009. Within the framework of the new project, IOM’s counter-trafficking activities will be focused on law enforcement cooperation and capacity building by dissemination of information and organizing training on anti-trafficking legislation as well as on the effective methods to combat the phenomenon of trafficking based on international experience and best practices. The project also proposes to organize a study tour for relevant government agencies to Turkey followed by the establishment of a network and database between these participating government agencies in Turkmenistan.

IOM also will continue to assist the Government of Turkmenistan in developing the skills of law enforcement officials for effective investigation and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking, and in establishing a training framework for relevant state authorities applying an up-to-date methodology and practical knowledge of different countries.

1. Strategy

This project should be considered as an element of the overall IOM counter-trafficking efforts in the region. IOM’s programmatic approach intends to address three integrated, interrelated aspects of this phenomenon and consequently contribute to the efforts of the national authorities to combat trafficking in human beings within the region: awareness-raising through the dissemination of information among the law enforcement and other government authorities to further increase awareness of the basic trends of the phenomenon; capacity building by supporting law enforcement and judiciary structures through training to expand knowledge and skills; a study tour to Turkey to enhance cooperation among government officials from both countries to act more effectively against crimes of trafficking in persons, particularly women and children; and a data collection and information exchange system among the government agencies immediately involved in counter-trafficking in order to enable them to efficiently investigate trafficking cases.

These three elements are seen as crucial to combating the phenomenon of trafficking in Turkmenistan. In the Central Asian region IOM has been successful in implementing prevention, protection and prosecution oriented activities and now this new initiative in Turkmenistan will become part of this regional strategy.

This particular project will mostly focus on capacity building of law enforcement to effectively prosecute human trafficking cases.

2. Project Partners/Institutional Framework:

For the effective implementation of the project in cooperation with state structures, international agencies, and law enforcement agencies, the following authorities have been identified as the main partners for the project:

  1. The State Migration Service of Turkmenistan;
  2. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan;
  3. The Ministry of Interior of Turkmenistan;
  4. The Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan;
  5. The State Border Guard Service of Turkmenistan;
  6. State Customs Office of Turkmenistan;
  7. The Ministry of Justice of Turkmenistan;
  8. Office of the Prosecutor General of Turkmenistan;
  9. Parliament of Turkmenistan;
  10. The Turkmen National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan.

The target groups of the project are the representatives of law enforcement agencies, executive and legislative bodies of the Government and the Parliament of Turkmenistan, prosecution bodies.

The NGO network is slowly expanding in Turkmenistan and thus their role as IOM partners is considered to be significant. Therefore, NGOs will be assisting IOM in achieving the overall goal of the project.

3. Sustainability

Sustainability of the project will be achieved through training relevant state officials on counter- trafficking in human beings, based on the new Law of Turkmenistan on Combating Trafficking in Persons adopted by the Parliament, and contributing to the development of a long-term working module for law enforcement authorities. The sustainability of the project will also be reinforced by the establishment of a network and database between six relevant government agencies.

4. IOM’s Expertise on Counter-trafficking

IOM is particularly concerned with persons who are or have been deceived or coerced into situations of economic exploitation, which occur through forced labor, forced servitude, coercion, debt bondage, or other violations of fundamental human rights. Counter-trafficking is therefore a particularly important service area for IOM.

IOM is an intergovernmental organization with 125 member states and over 440 country missions, including sub-offices spanning the globe. IOM’s extensive geographic presence, coupled with a mandate to assist governments in migration management and to ensure the safety and well being of migrants, puts the organization in a unique and well-placed position to inform on policy, direct assistance and capacity building. One of IOM’s primary pillars of work is counter-trafficking. The Organization has appointed some 100 counter-trafficking focal points worldwide for internal information sharing, needs identification, collaboration with governments and NGOs in the field, and program implementation. Comprehensive, integrated responses aim to prevent the phenomenon, protect the victims through immediate assistance, and enable governments and agencies through technical cooperation to manage the problem themselves. In this way, IOM works to address the causes and consequences of trafficking.

IOM’s specialized services and expertise in counter-trafficking include:

  1.  Protection — shelter and assistance for victims in coordination with NGOs, international organizations, government agencies, and emergency hotlines.
  2.  Counselling — legal and medical counselling and assistance in transit and receiving countries.
  3.  Return/Reintegration — voluntary return and reintegration assistance.
  4.  Information Dissemination Programs — mass information campaigns in countries of origin and transit in an effort to make potential migrants aware of the risks of irregular migration and trafficking; a limited number of campaigns have also been directed at potential users or exploiters of trafficked women.
  5.  Capacity Building — training to increase the capacity of governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as other institutions, to counteract trafficking; audiences have included border guards, law enforcement, and politically elected officials charged with drafting counter-trafficking policy and legislation.
  6.  Research — research to focus attention on the problem of trafficking, raise general awareness, and provide governments and other actors with essential information for developing forms of intervention.
  7.  Seminars and Policy — seminars and forum activities to raise general awareness on trafficking, share experience among various partners, disseminate research outcomes, coordinate/harmonize policies and measures, and create formal and informal networks dealing with the issue.

 IOM continues to carry out non-regional specific activities to increase the scope of knowledge on trafficking and continue victim assistance regardless of the country of origin, transit or destination. IOM has produced a field manual for researchers and practitioners on recommendations, guidelines and methodologies for research and is developing best practices for agencies providing services for victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. In addition, IOM has established a mechanism for rapid, case-by-case assistance for victims stranded outside their country of origin that require immediate protection and, when applicable, return support.

5. Overall Objective

The objective of the project is to contribute to combating trafficking in persons in Turkmenistan by raising awareness and building capacity among government officials responsible for law enforcement and protection.

6. Project Purposes

The following are the project purposes:

  • To design, develop, print and disseminate information materials among the law enforcement authorities;
  • To build capacity of relevant government agencies by conduct specialized trainings for law enforcement officers and Judges
  • To organize a study tour abroad for relevant government officials to gain international experience in the area of counter-trafficking in human beings.
  • To strengthen the counter-trafficking infrastructure in the country by providing technical assistance to relevant Government agencies.

7.Program Activities

Activity 1. Production and publication of materials for Law Enforcement

IOM Turkmenistan will design, develop, print and disseminate all printed materials among the law enforcement authorities (The State Migration Service of Turkmenistan; The Ministry of Interior; The Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan; The State Border Guards Service; State Customs Office of Turkmenistan; Office of the Prosecutor General). Activities will include:

  • Gathering relevant source materials prepared by IOM and other organizations;
  • Design, lay out, and editing;
  • Translating, production and printing of the information materials.

Activity 2. Training for State officials on Anti-Trafficking legislation and Practices to counteract trafficking

a) Training for Law Enforcement officers:

Specific activities will include:

  • Determination of training schedule for 8 workshops for law enforcement officials;
  • Identify trainers at the national and international levels;
  • Coordinate a list of participants with government authorities;
  • Organize training sessions;
  • Provide appropriate training for 240 persons.

b) Training for Judges:

Specific activities will include:

  • Determination of training schedule for 2 workshops for judges;
  • Identify trainers at the national and international levels;
  • Coordinate a list of participants with government authorities;
  • Organize training sessions;
  • Provide appropriate training for 20 judges.

Activity 3. Study tour to Turkey for relevant government officials

Specific activities will include:

  • Development of the visit program;
  • Receiving confirmation from Turkish authorities;
  • Identify a group of 6 (six) officials composed of 1 person from the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan; 1 person from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan; 1 person from the Ministry of Interior of Turkmenistan; 1 person from the Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan; 1 person from the State Border Guards Service of Turkmenistan and 1 person from the Office of the Prosecutor General of Turkmenistan.
  • Organization of practical details, including venue, catering, transport, accommodation, etc.

Activity 4. Capacity Building: technical assistance for relevant government agencies:

In order to improve data collection and information exchange among the agencies immediately involved in combating trafficking cases an information exchange network will be established:

  • Procure 6 sets of computer equipment and 1 server;
  • Lay out a information exchange network among the identified agencies and combine them; 
  • Create a database;
  • Provide training.

Project Reports