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OSCE Centre in Astana continues anti-trafficking training for judges

 

( OSCE) - An OSCE-organized training seminar for judges on good practices in handling human trafficking cases was held las week in Astana.

 

"A comprehensive approach to combating trafficking in human beings encompasses not only punishing offenders and carrying out effective preventive measures but above all respecting, restoring and strengthening victims' access to justice," said Ambassador Natalia Zarudna, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana. "In this regard well-trained judges play a pivotal role and are crucial to countering human trafficking.

 

Ambassador Natalia Zarudna, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana, speaks at an anti-trafficking training seminar for judges, Astana, 12 April 2012. (OSCE/Mariya Dubovitskaya)
At the seminar, Supreme Court judges and specialists from local non-governmental organizations shared their experience with some 30 district court judges from across Kazakhstan as well as with other civil servants. Good judicial practices in reviewing criminal trafficking cases, challenging aspects of proof in courts and tools to properly categorize crimes, as well as effective ways to integrate international legal anti-trafficking tools into law enforcement and judicial practice were covered.

 

Raissa Yurchenko, a former Supreme Court judge and trainer at the event, said: "Reviewing judicial practices in human trafficking cases is an effective way to enhance the quality of judicial decisions. This will significantly improve how such crimes are dealt with, and will help judges avoid misperceptions."

 

The two-day seminar was organized by the OSCE Centre in Astana in co-operation with the Civil Service Academy, the Supreme Court and the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. It is the third in a series of eight OSCE-supported training seminars for judges planned for this year. These events are part of the Centre's longstanding efforts to strengthen the protection of human trafficking victims and provide them with access to justice.