AKIPRESS.COM - The Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings today, on 26 February 2015, issued an official country visit report on the Republic of Uzbekistan, following an official country visit carried out by her Office.
The report highlighted several areas where the government has been most effective in its fight against human trafficking including raising awareness at the community level and support to Uzbek nationals exploited abroad who are offered health care, psychological and legal counselling, vocational training and help with their job search upon return.
A number of challenges were also cited in the report, including the need to further increase the role of NGOs in identifying victims and also offering them alternative accommodation to the existing state shelter.
During the visit from 5 to 9 November 2013, former Special Representative Maria Grazia Giammarinaro called on the government to establish a state fund for the compensation of victims, regardless of their citizenship. She also suggested that Uzbekistan’s criminal justice response could be strengthened by carrying out investigations and prosecutions without relying solely on witness testimony by developing alternative strategies including financial probes.
Uzbekistan is the largest country by population of the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, with more than 30 million citizens, some of whom work abroad in sectors such as agriculture and construction where they can fall prey to human traffickers.
The Office of the Special Representative today posted the official Country Visit Report on the website.