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"Traffic": A terrible word

Panorama Shymkent, 19/05/2006
Justice management specialist of Shymkent city
E. Kazhigalieva

"Traffic": A terrible word

   Even when the word "traffic" was not in our vocabulary, it was always present, even if not on the scale that it is on today. Socio-economic problems of modern society have exacerbated the problem of unemployment not only in our country, but also abroad.
   As Kazakhstan had been included in world economic relations there has been a liberalization of border controls, which has increased migratory flows within Kazakhstan and abroad. As this has developed independent experts, as well as Kazakh officials, have noted the existence and the problem of human trafficking for labor and other types of exploitation. The increased migratory flows have prompted some people with an entrepreneurial prowess to form companies, like tourist firms, to exploit these laborers. Many of these firms have shown practices that make a number of violations against the people they work with. There are often many problems with the processing of documents and illegal entries, and often, these firms put holds on their employees' documents. They then do not distribute the earned money to their workers.
   According to expert at the Legal Center for Women's Initiatives "Sana Sezim", V. Zakutnev, the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan has set aside three articles that relate to human trafficking, one in particular pertaining to trafficking of minors. However, there are no measures that fully protect the public from trafficking, which creates conditions for the prosperity of this slave trade. The Penal Code does not create liability for organizing human trafficking, or organizing illegal migration in general.
   It is additionally problematic once citizens get abroad. There is often an ignorance of basic rights and laws of the destination country because travel through "easy ways", without processing the appropriate documents or insurance, leads to a powerless existence. People often find themselves in situations where they need to make money and one way to make "easy money" is through prostitution and pimping abroad. Girls and women, who have decided to use illegal means to work, get themselves caught into the network of the established system of sexual slavery.
   These people that are selected to work abroad are almost never licensed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Kazakhstan for a legally authorized activity. Even companies that arrange some licenses often have numerous violations in their work. and their licenses are revoked.
   There has been a rapid growth of human trafficking in recent years and governments of many countries are unaware. The enforcement of international law in many countries is lagging behind the growth of international traffickers. In our opinion, the work of law enforcement and educational, media, and other promotional campaigns are essential tools for advocacy against trafficking, but still need growth.