IOM Azerbaijan facilitates a study visit to the USA for Azerbaijani Officials and representatives of NGOs working in the field of combating human trafficking
17 November 2022
- On 05-12 November 2022, IOM Azerbaijan organized a study visit to the USA, particularly to Washington DC and Dallas city for representatives of various Azerbaijan’s state institutions and non-governmental organizations with the aim of learning the best practices and experiences of the USA in the field of combating human trafficking.
The visit took place within the framework of the “Combatting Trafficking in Persons Activity” Project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aiming to assist the Government of Azerbaijan to improve further effectiveness in preventing and combating human trafficking. The delegation of eight participants included representatives of the Counter-Trafficking Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Social Services Agency under the Ministry of Labor and Social, and State Migration Service, the State Committee for Women, Family and Children Affairs as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations operating in the field of human trafficking namely, TAMAS Public Union, Clean World Public Union, Azerbaijan Children Public Union.
During the study tour, the delegation met with the representatives of the IOM Washington office, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Person under the Department of State, the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the Office for Victims of Crime under the Department of Justice, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons under Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Child Labor Forced Labor and Human Trafficking under the Department of Labor, Dallas District Attorney Office, and the Dallas Police Department as well as to the non-governmental organizations operating in the field of combating human trafficking, namely "Polaris", and "Mosaic Family Services Inc". All of the agencies presented their work activities, shared expertise and experiences in fighting human trafficking.
During the discussions with counterparts, participants from Azerbaijan compared the modalities applied for fighting against human trafficking at all levels - federal, state, and local ones - and discussed collaboration and joint activities of law enforcement agencies and civil society in the USA. The Azerbaijani delegation had the opportunity to analyze the important aspects of identification and referral of victims of trafficking, and reflect upon their own legislative reform, as well as challenges around its implementation. It is expected that the experience gained during the study visit will be vital in the future work of government institutions and non-governmental organizations operating in the field of combatting human trafficking in the Republic of Azerbaijan in terms of the application of the victim-centered approach and strengthening the national referral mechanism for victims’ assistance.
USAID’s Countering Trafficking in Persons Activity, implemented by IOM, assists the Government of Azerbaijan and NGOs to further improve Azerbaijan's effectiveness in preventing and combating trafficking in persons and forced labor as well as addressing gender-based violence. This includes technical support to civil society organizations operating shelters that assist potential and actual victims of trafficking and forced labor.