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CoE lauds Azerbaijan's efforts to fight against human trafficking

10 November 2015 17:53 (UTC+04:00)
CoE lauds Azerbaijan's efforts to fight against human trafficking

By Vusala Abbasova

Human trafficking is a horrible crime that destroys the lives of millions of people around the world, including those of innocent women and children, the most frequent victims of this crime.

Azerbaijan is strongly committed to combating human trafficking, announced Police Major-General Sharif Asadullayev, head of the Main Department on Combating Human Trafficking at the Interior Ministry.

At a meeting to discuss Azerbaijan’s fulfillment of the Council of Europe's Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, held in Baku on November10 by the European Council and Interior Ministry, Asadullayev noted that Azerbaijan had adopted complex measures in this area over the course of a decade.

He noted that the CoE had lauded Azerbaijan's efforts to fight against human trafficking, including appointing a national coordinator, workgroup, and specialized police department; enacting legislation, a national action plan, and a national redirection mechanism for victims of trafficking and indicators of their definition; and conducting educational activities to fight human traffickers.

In turn, the head of the delegation of the CoE's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), Ita Mirianashvili, said the event was aimed at expressing the Council's support of the Azerbaijani government.

The Center for Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population has recorded 103 criminal cases related to human trafficking over January-October 2015.

These remarks were made by Ilkan Gurbanov, deputy head of the Main Department on Combating Human Trafficking at the Interior Ministry

Gurbanov also added that as many as seven forced labor cases were discovered in the reported period, in addition to 11 cases of documents being illegally prepared to facilitate human trafficking.

Generally, 58 victims of human trafficking had been found, the deputy head confirmed.

Gurbanov also announced that 26 people had been held criminally liable for these crimes.

While the first National Action Plan on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings was endorsed by a presidential decree in Azerbaijan on May 6, 2004, the history of combating human trafficking in Azerbaijan started in 1996.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, surpassing the drug trade. There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking.

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