IOM Azerbaijan conducts workshop for private sector in addressing trafficking in persons
03 August 2023
The workshop aimed to increase awareness among companies about human trafficking and emphasize the role of the private sector in combating this crime.
On July 31, 2023, as part of the initiatives commemorating the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the IOM Mission to Azerbaijan organized a workshop specifically for representatives from the private sector. The workshop was held within the Countering Trafficking in Persons Activity project funded by USAID.
The workshop aimed to increase awareness among companies about human trafficking and emphasize the role of the private sector in combating this crime. The importance of strengthening partnerships between the private sector, public sector, and civil society organizations to effectively prevent trafficking and improve the lives of vulnerable populations was highlighted during the workshop.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Taha Amr, Officer in Charge of IOM Mission in Azerbaijan, emphasized the significance of the workshop, which brought together prominent private sector representatives, SME Unions, Azerbaijan Human Resources Institute, and various state and civil society organizations in Azerbaijan.
“According to the latest global estimates, 50 million people were living in modern slavery in 2021, and 28 million of them were in forced labor. Social and economic marginalization, lack of education and relevant skills, and unfavorable economic conditions are a few reasons for forced labor and other forms of trafficking to take place,” he noted.
During the workshop, it was stressed that the private sector has a crucial role to play in the fight against trafficking in persons. Private entities can act as facilitators, preventers, and combatants of human trafficking.
Furthermore, the private sector's importance in the reintegration of trafficking victims was highlighted. The participants emphasized the need to raise awareness among private sector members and establish an open dialogue between diverse business sectors, companies, governments, and NGOs to recognize the shared responsibility in effectively combating trafficking in persons at the national level.
During the workshop, experts and participants from the private sector shared best practices in engaging the private sector in combating trafficking, particularly in facilitating victim reintegration. They also discussed opportunities for enhancing partnerships between the private sector and civil society organizations in Azerbaijan.
Through the Countering Trafficking in Persons Activity funded by USAID, IOM collaborates closely with the Azerbaijani government to promote multi-sectoral collaboration in prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership. The project aims to raise public awareness about human trafficking and provides technical and financial support to civil society organizations that operate shelters and assist potential and actual victims of trafficking and forced labor.