Human trafficking is still an ongoing issue faced by many governments and organizations around the world. According to a United Nations 2012 trafficking in person global report, the International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor globally. The estimate includes victims of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation.
On May 6, 2014, Counterpart International, which is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Women’s Participation Program (WPP) implemented and supported by Counterpart International and the Azerbaijani Migration Center as well as other USAID stakeholders, held a public discussion -“Combat against trafficking in persons: efforts, measures taken and results” 10 years anniversary (2004-2014).” The event brought together key government representatives, NGO’s, and local organizations to discuss the progress Azerbaijani government and law enforcement had made to combat this human rights issue.
In attendance at the event was: Brook Isham, Mission Director, USAID Azerbaijan, Mr. Sharif Asadullayev, Head of Department on Combat against Human Trafficking in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Mr. Elgun Safarov, Head of Analytical Researches Department of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs and others.
Brook Isham, Mission Director, USAID Azerbaijan praised the Azerbaijani Government’s commitment to the cause on combating human trafficking, evident by the government’s adoption of the National Action Plan for 2009-2013. Isham also reiterated the US Government and US Embassy’s commitment to fight human trafficking, adding that as a result of the government of Azerbaijan’s recent efforts, the United States Report of Trafficking in Humans upgraded Azerbaijan to ‘Tier 2’ from the ‘Tier 2 Watch List’, which showed progress in the right direction.
A draft National Action Plan for 2014-2018 for Azerbaijan was submitted and presented to the Cabinet of Ministers at the event, the report prepared by the Azerbaijan Migration Center is in hope that the fight to put an end to human trafficking can continue with the support of all stakeholders.