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International conference devoted to the World Day against Trafficking in Persons held in Nakhchivan

30.07.2016

The International conference devoted to the World Day against Trafficking in Persons has been organized and held by the United States Agency for International Development, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic in the Nakhchivan Business Center on 30 July.
At first, conference participants visited the monument of Great National Leader Heydar Aliyev on the main square of Nakhchivan and the Heydar Aliyev’s Museum.
Having delivered his speech at the conference opening ceremony, Head of the representative office of IOM in Azerbaijan Serhan Aktoprak expressed gratitude to the leadership of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic for their support in execution of this event.
Further, Chief of the Main Department for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Police Major General Sharif Asadullayev, and Chief of the Organizational Inspection Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Police Colonel Ali Taghiyev delivered their speeches and wished every success to the conference participants.

Head of the representative office of the United States Agency for International Development in Baku Michaela Meredith noted in her speech that the United States undertakes measures against trafficking in persons jointly with Azerbaijan: “While we have achieved success in our efforts, we still have certain problems in this area. Those who are engaged in trafficking in persons still can escape from law enforcement agencies. In such a case the state and community should give support to detect such crimes. At the same time, states across the world also should address needs of victims of this type of crime in their fighting.”

Michaela Meredith stated that support given by Azerbaijan was always based on partnership principles. This partnership is maintained in accordance with the priorities determined in the development concept of the Azerbaijani government “Azerbaijan 2020: looking into the future”. One of these priorities is the fight against trafficking in persons. The United States Agency for International Development has been undertaking measures against trafficking in persons jointly with the International Organization for Migration since October of 2015 under the project of “Combating Trafficking in Persons”. Within the scope of this project, support is given to shelters for victims of trafficking in persons and for enhancing their capabilities.

At the same time, the project renders legal, social, psychological and rehabilitation assistance to victims of trafficking in persons accommodated in this shelter. Michaela Meredith made a pointed reference to the project “Enhancement of cooperation for the purpose of building capacity in Azerbaijan and effectiveness of combating trafficking in persons by technical support” and noted that this project is aimed at increasing technical capabilities to provide identification of victims of trafficking in persons by healthcare specialists and rending appropriate aid to them. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Center for Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Persons under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Azerbaijan Republic.
Mrs Michaela Meredith emphasized that the “National Action Plan for combating trafficking in persons in the Azerbaijan Republic in 2014-2018” approved by the Decree of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic signed on 24 July 2014 has demonstrated uncompromising combating trafficking in person at all levels in Azerbaijan and expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani government for efforts made in this area.

UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Ghulam Isakzai thanked the hosts of the International Conference devoted to 30 July - the World Day against Trafficking in Persons and expressed his satisfaction with the participation in this event. It was mentioned that the purpose of announcement of the 30th of July the World Day against Trafficking in Persons by UN is to draw attention of the community to this global problem and undertake joint measures against it. It’s an embarrassing fact that in the 21st century we are still challenged by various kinds of trafficking in persons and at present there are 20 million victims of trafficking in persons in the world. Trafficking in persons causes problems not only for particular countries but is conductive to transnational crime. That’s why we must address this challenge by joining our efforts.

Head of the Council of Europe Office in Baku Dragana Filipovic and Regional Director for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the International Organization for Migration Agrentina Szabados in their speeches named trafficking in persons modern-day slavery and a crime against humanity. Having emphasized the importance of joint fighting of all states across the world, the orators mentioned their support to efforts taken by the Azerbaijani government.
Further, the conference went on with panel discussions.

Local and foreign experts, representatives of non-governmental organizations and mass media, the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Justice, Health, Culture and Tourism, the State Migration Service, the Customs Committee, the Independent Frontier Division “Nakhchivan” and other relevant organizations took part in the conference.