Azerbaijan a source and transit state for human trafficking - CoE

BAKU – Azerbaijan is both a source and transit state for human trafficking, Council of Europe official Danuta Wisniewska-Cazals said Wednesday at a workshop organized by the CoE in cooperation with the country’s Interior Ministry.

The two-day workshop aims to contribute to strengthening institutional capacities in Azerbaijan for fighting and preventing human trafficking in line with the CoE Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which entered into force in the country this year.

Wisniewska-Cazals said Azerbaijani women affected by human trafficking are taken mainly to Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan for sexual exploitation. Those taken to Russia are forced to work.

Wisniewska-Cazals said that there are some cases of human trafficking inside Azerbaijan as well, with most of such cases being related to sexual exploitation and begging.

The CoE official said that recently cases of bringing human trafficking victims to Azerbaijan have been reported, which has raised concerns despite the insignificant number of such crimes.

She said Azerbaijan also plays the role of a transit state for trafficking in humans. Victims are taken to Europe from Asian countries, particularly Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, through Azerbaijan.

The seminar benefits officials responsible for the implementation of the mentioned CoE convention, seeking to present good practices and innovative approaches for the implementation of the convention and provide a platform for discussion among Azerbaijani stakeholders.

Representatives from the Presidential Administration, parliament, the ministries of foreign affairs, justice and internal affairs, law enforcement and government agencies, judges and prosecutors as well as NGOs joined the event. Experts from six CoE member states are sharing their experience with the Azerbaijani counterparts.