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Azerbaijan to study Hungary’s experience on combating human trafficking

22 September 2014 12:57 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan to study Hungary’s experience on combating human trafficking

By Sara Rajabova

The representatives of Azerbaijani government and civil society working on preventing and combating human trafficking will start their study visit to Hungary on September 22.

The OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Baku, in co-operation with the Interior Ministry of Hungary is supporting a five-day visit to Hungary, by representatives of Azerbaijan's government and civil society working on preventing and combating human trafficking, the organization said.

The study visit is part of the Co-ordinator's counter-trafficking project, which aims to support the exchange of good practices and discuss the lessons learned in combating trafficking in human beings.

"The OSCE supports Azerbaijan in its efforts to combat any form of exploitation and modern slavery. Human trafficking is a transnational threat across the OSCE area and we assist the country in implementing the third National Action Plan, approved by the Azerbaijani President on July 25, 2014," OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Baku Ambassador Alexis Chahtahtinsky said.

He added that an exchange of good practices with other OSCE participating states will help Azerbaijan to improve further in the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking, as well as in protection of trafficking victims.

The Azerbaijani delegation includes the representatives from the Interior Ministry, Victim Assistance Centre under the Labor and Social Protection, Foreign Ministry, State Migration Service, State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs as well as three civil society organizations.

They will meet the Hungarian Interior Ministry, National Bureau of Investigation, Public Administration and Justice Office as well as the Victim Support Service, Family and Social Policy Institute, National Crisis Telephone Information Service and other government agencies.

Furthermore, the Azerbaijani and Hungarian experts will discuss the available mechanisms of support and assistance to victims, application of the national referral mechanism, procedures of detection and identification of trafficking victims, and the investigation and prosecution of trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation. The delegation will also visit a shelter for trafficking victims in Mosonmagyarovar city.

Recently, it was reported that Azerbaijani Ministry of Labor and Social Protection plans to take an action plan to create several centers of rehabilitation, social services and assistance, including shelters for trafficking victims.

The action plan is aimed at ensuring adoption of measures to combat human trafficking, improving normative framework and institutional mechanisms, increasing the efficiency of mutual activity of state bodies and ensuring implementation of Azerbaijan's international obligations in this sphere.

Azerbaijani Center for Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking provided assistance to 21 victims and 12 potential victims of human trafficking between January and May, according to Azerbaijani Interior Ministry.

The number of human trafficking cases in Azerbaijan was rising prior to 2009, but it has been decreasing since then.

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