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Diverse Traffic

Panorama Shymkent, 8/02/2006
E. Berdigalieva

Diverse Traffic

   Only after a six-month jail term for illegal stay in the Emirates, was 19-year old Nadia (name changed), from Shymkent, miraculously able to contact her relatives. Our consul in Dubai was able to help and organize the deportation of the girl home. Money for the trip home was not anticipated from her mother. "She said that she was going to find employment. I don't know any details. Just return her alive," a crying woman said at the Legal Center for Women's Initiatives "Sana Sezim". With the help of members of "Sana Sezim" and the International Organization for Migration Nadia was returned to Kazakhstan.
   "We are ready to provide her with legal aid and to bring those who forced her into illegal travel to justice, if it is confirmed. Perhaps she will also need our professional psychological help," said the president of the Legal Center for Women's Initiative's "Sana Sezim", Hadicha Abysheva.
   With experiences like this "Sana Sezim" opened a distance learning workshop called "Human trafficking - a violation of human rights". It was organized for law enforcement officers with the purpose of informing participants about the how to identify victims of human trafficking as well as to discuss collaborations between law enforcement bodies and NGOs in regards to this issue.
   According to statistics based on calls made to the phone hotline at "Sana Sezim", many residents of the South Kazakhstan region decide to work abroad. The leading countries of destination are UAE, Germany, Turkey, China, and more recently South Korea, Cyprus, and Portugal.
   It was discussed at the workshop that even formally registered businesses, which conduct some legal practices, may be involved in trafficking or be so-called recruiters. This is common for different agencies like model agencies, marriage agencies, labor and employment agencies, and tourist firms.
   These people make promises of large and fast earnings to mask the harsh reality of life. Victims of trafficking often go to work or study abroad based on preferential terms. Many of them return psychologically broken, fearing for their lives, and the lives of their loved ones. They are reluctant to share their feelings with people, hiding with the belief that there is no help.
   The outcome of the workshop was the utterance of one participant, supported by all "Do not support slavery!" Under this slogan, law enforcement officers can now work to protect against poor, hasty choices by those who need work, like Nadia.