Justice Practitioners Learn New Legislation to Stop Human Trafficking
- A group of 40 judges and prosecutors completed a UNODC-led training course on the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases.
Following the entry into force of amendments to the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan in 2017, the training aimed to build the knowledge and skills of criminal justice practitioners on the practical application of the new legislation in line with the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
“During the training, the participants studied the evidence investigators should provide and opportunities to strengthen it”, noted David Newton, an independent expert on trafficking in person working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to facilitate the training. “We also discussed case management in trafficking in persons cases, common defense strategies and how to counter them, considerations in sentencing and compensation for trafficking victim”, Newton added.
Based on consultations with Turkmenistan’s law enforcement bodies and judicial institutions, UNODC has developed a new Anti-Human Trafficking Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners. This manual, which is based on a global UNODC tool and adapted to reflect Turkmen criminal legislation, was tested during the training and used as a basis for interactive discussions and group exercises.
“Training practitioners is a key step to put adopted legislation into practice”, stated Koen Marquering, UNODC International Coordinator. “It takes time and dedicated resources for a national criminal justice system to acquire sufficient expertise to detect, investigate and successfully prosecute cases of trafficking in person”, he added.
In conjunction with the training, UNODC facilitated a coordination meeting of State bodies, international organizations and diplomatic missions. During the meeting, UNODC presented an assessment report on the compliance of Turkmenistan’s anti-human trafficking legislation with international standards. Participants confirmed the need to review the implementation of the 2016-2018 National Action Plan of Turkmenistan to counter trafficking in persons. Joint action to celebrate the World Day against Trafficking in Persons (30 July) and engage in regular public awareness raising for the prevention of trafficking in persons was also recommended.
UNODC supports Turkmenistan’s efforts to strengthen the criminal justice response to trafficking in persons with funding provided by the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.