World Day Against Trafficking in Persons observed in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan, 30 July 2023. Public associations of Turkmenistan with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Turkmenistan held awareness raising events in three regions of the country on the occasion of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons which is observed annually around the world on July 30 in accordance with the relevant resolution of the UN General Assembly. The campaign for the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2023 is held under the theme "Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind".
In Ashgabat, Public Association “Yenme” held an awareness-raising event called “Stop Human Trafficking”, which was attended by 42 young activists and volunteers. During the interactive session, the participants of the event discussed the importance of safe and regular migration in preventing human trafficking. The participants of the event also watched video film "5 Facts About Human Trafficking" and took part in the interactive game "Degrees of Risk". All participants were presented with information booklets and souvenirs.
“Ynamly Egindesh” Economic Society, operating a hotline in Ashgabat for people at risk or victims of human trafficking, also held an event in Ashgabat to raise awareness about this phenomenon. During the event, the participants discussed the variety of risks leading to human trafficking that various groups of the population face, making them vulnerable to exploitation by human traffickers. In the course of the discussion, the participants noted the importance of applying methods aimed at improving the effectiveness of ongoing measures to combat human trafficking. The participants of the event were also familiarized with the work carried out by "Ynamly Egindesh" Economic Society on prevention of human trafficking in Turkmenistan as part of the "Vaccination Against Stereotypes" project. The participants also watched a video film “5 Facts About Human Trafficking”.
Public association “Taze Zaman”, also operating a hotline in Turkmenabat, held an exhibition of drawings and cartoons on the topic of human trafficking prepared by residents of Lebap province, helping to raise awareness of over 40 people of the risks and consequences of irregular migration and human trafficking. The exhibition was held with the support of the city administration. Information materials and printed products provided by IOM in Turkmenistan as well as products with anti-trafficking thematic were also distributed at the event.
Public association "Mashgala" organized an information event dedicated to the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons within the framework of a sports competition in kabaddi and freestyle wrestling among teenagers of Mary province at the stadium of “Merv” football club. As was noted by the head of this organization, Bazar Bugraev, “Mashgala” seeks to draw attention of civil society of the rural region of Mary province to the problem of human trafficking in order to prevent and counteract this phenomenon, the risk of which becomes higher with the increase in migration flows as a result of the legal illiteracy of vulnerable segments of the population. “Mashgala” works with young people on this issue on an ongoing basis to build support and form public opinion for reduction of risky behavior, especially among young people.
The International Organization for Migration has been working in Turkmenistan since 1997. IOM is one of the key partners of Turkmenistan in combating human trafficking. Within the framework of the project “Protection of vulnerable migrants with special emphasis on empowering women in the context of migration in Central Asia”, IOM in Turkmenistan is supporting Public Association “Taze Zaman” and “Ynamly Egindesh” Economic Society in maintaining “hotlines” in Ashgabat and Turkmenabad for provision of preventive information to the population of Turkmenistan about risks of becoming victims of human trafficking, as well as to Public Association "Yenme" in maintaining a “shelter” in Ashgabat for provision of temporary accommodation and rehabilitation assistance to victims of human trafficking.