Azerbaijan actively fighting human trafficking

By: Mushvig Mehdiyev

More than $150 billion is earned from human trafficking in our days. The problematic field, which is predicted to be the third most profitable business, is inflicting damages to many families worldwide, Renate Held, International Organization for Migration’s Regional Director on Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said in Baku on October 22.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the information campaign “The two little girls” organized jointly by Azerbaijan, Great Britain and IOM, she noted that the IOM is combating the human trafficking by implementing over 100 projects, Trend reports.

She said IOM has also helped more than 65,000 families, women and children victims of the human trafficking so far. The organization is also working on public awareness and organizing the protection of the victims.

About 23 criminal cases have been filed for 104 human trafficking reports in Azerbaijan in the first nine months of 2014, including 97 cases with direct link to the trade in humans, Imran Najafov, Deputy Head of Department for Combating the Human Trafficking, said addressing the event.

Najafov noted that 16 women and 5 men have been held liable for the criminal actions connected to the human trafficking and forced labor. Meanwhile, about 50 victims were recognized and 8 groups engaged in human trafficking were neutralized.

Moreover, 7 out of the 23 wanted people engaged in human trafficking were arrested and delivered to judicial bodies.

Najafov said about 33 of the victims were transmitted to Turkey, 8 to Russia and 6 to the United Arab Emirates.

“As a result of our close ties with the law enforcement bodies of other countries, around 580 cases of human trafficking and forced labor have been registered. Meanwhile, 385 people were held liable and 157 criminal groups and organized gangs were neutralized in Azerbaijan over the past ten years,” Najafov stressed.

He went on saying that about 274 seminars dedicated to the human trafficking have been held in the cities and regions of Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, the Council on State Support for NGOs has financed 33 projects and allocated nearly $294,000 to the activities in this field.

“Challenges of human trafficking are currently actual all over the world and Azerbaijan, as a leading country in the region, is actively fighting against it. We joined the relevant international conventions and adopted the first National Action Plan in 2004. The third consecutive action plan covering the years of 2014-2018 is currently being implemented in the country,” Najafov said.

IOM representative in Azerbaijan, Serkhan Aktopark, in turn, said the human trafficking is an actual problem in the whole world and the fight against it should be continuous.

British Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Irfan Siddig said the movie “The two little girls” was screened in many European countries. He expressed his hope that the presented campaign will have positive effects on Azerbaijan.

The mentioned campaign against human trafficking started in 2009 and will last until 2015. Several leading British charity organizations including Comic Relief and Tudor Trust support the campaign.

The film “The two little girls” will be screened in local Xəzər TV. IOM will organize several events jointly with the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan to talk on the movie’s main themes.

Human trafficking is among the most dangerous challenges facing the modern world. Illegal trade in humans brings astronomical profits to make the business more attractive.

Havoscope, the Global Black Market Information source posted the price list of the people trafficked in different countries. For instance, traffickers sell the children in Iraq for $300 and $5,500. Woman from Moldova are sold for $2,650. If one wants a girl from Brazil, he has to pay about $5,000 or $10,000. Babies from the North Caucasus and Russia cost at $17,500. The most expensive victims of human trafficking are in Rome which are sold for $270,000.


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