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OSCE Centre in Astana launches training on identifying victims of human trafficking


(OSCE) - The OSCE Centre in Astana held the first in a series of regional training seminars to improve the identification of trafficking victims in Almaty.



The seminars are part of the OSCE Centre's six-month project on identifying presumed victims of trafficking. Subsequent seminars will be held in Taraz and Shymkent, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Petropavlovsk and Aktau. As part of the project, places of detention and rehabilitation centres for juveniles and homeless people will be monitored in co-operation with the Interior Ministry and the non-governmental International Legal Initiative to identify possible trafficking cases.


In the coming two months, some 120 Kazakhstani regional authorities will participate in the seminars. Administrative and criminal police officers and specialists from rehabilitation centres for the homeless and juveniles will learn how to recognize cases of trafficking, how to handle information on suspected cases, and to whom to refer presumed victims. The participants will also learn how to use special indicators and checklists for proper victim identification.


"Police officers are confronted every day with a variety of challenging situations. Even if not specialized in human trafficking, they must be able to recognize the most important indicators of the crime, identify victims and refer them to the relevant authorities," said Stefan Buchmayer, Human Dimension Officer to the OSCE Centre in Astana. "We hope these training courses will help authorities improve victim identification procedures."


Aina Shormanbayeva, President of the International Legal Initiative, added: "Effective victim identification is crucial to the successful investigation of trafficking in human beings, essential to protecting victims and ensuring access to justice and appropriate services for them."


The seminars are part of the Centre's longstanding efforts to assist Kazakhstan in combating human trafficking.