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Project monitoring for "Stop Trafficking!" under the financial support of the European Commission Representation in Kazakhstan

   Our project, "Stop Trafficking!" was implemented from March 16, 2006 to March 16, 2008 in the South Kazakhstan Region and our target group was women and children from 13 to 45 years, who are potential victims of trafficking.

  • Operation of confidential telephone hotline
       The confidential telephone hotline operated from March 15, 2007 to March 15, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 24.00 p.m. every day. Our qualified operators responded to calls concerning departure abroad, visa registrations and other related documents, methods of safety, contacts and phones numbers of all embassies, consulates, and non-profit organizations in CIS countries and other countries that provide assistance on human trafficking and migration. In necessary cases, the operators redirected calls to the NGO "Sana Sezim" lawyer and/or psychologist for further consultation.

    The hotline received a total of 3023 calls (1459 calls from men, 1564 from women), and exceeded the project goal of 3000 calls. Statistical data of the hotline suggest that potential and real victims of human trafficking are women between 21 and 40 years old. Additionally, a majority of these victims were offered employment or marriage, although they were already be married or have children. The large number of women willing to work abroad indicated poor physical conditions of families, and that many women are raising their children alone and are not receiving material support from their spouses. Other reasons for traveling abroad were low wages, minimal or lack of social benefits, and desires to provide children with decent lives and education.
  • Hotline statistics
       The largest group of clients who called the hotline consisted those who were preparing to leave Kazakhstan (87%). Other groups included: single parents and relatives who were concerned about the fate of their children (10.3%), acquaintances (1%), representatives of non-governmental organizations (0.1%), and people on behalf of others (1.6%).

  • Legal assistance
       Our NGO "Sana Sezim" lawyer received a total of 1088 clients, assisted fifteen people who had problems with false travel agencies, gave recommendations regarding procedures on labor agreements and submitting claim statements, and warned clients about the consequences of non-compliance to labor contracts. Our legal services also assisted legally qualified persons to register their contracts and provided them with documents to work abroad. Close partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan's embassies abroad allowed our lawyer to negotiate with the Embassies of Turkey, Austria, Czech Republic, Israel, Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan to return five trafficking victims to Kazakhstan and other home countries.

       Complaints were received on the hotline about false travel agencies, such as "Aliya," "Olzha," "Uldar," "Mercedes Benz," and "Dostyk." NGO "Sana Sezim" reported the illegal activities of "Aliya" and the Commission of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection for the Department of Population of South Kazakhstan Region revoked its license thereafter.

       A total of 15 raids (outreach actions) were conducted to identify victims of human trafficking. The raids took place at public baths and saunas and in conjunction with the Migration Police and the Office for Combating Organized Crime.

       Assistance was provided to fifteen victims of human trafficking and fraud; of which, two victims, an Israeli citizen and a Kazakhstani citizen, were returned to their countries of origin. One case was brought to court for decision and the trafficker was sentenced under the Articles 126, 132, 133, 271 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (see included documents).
  • Psychological assistance
       Anonymous and confidential psychological consultations were provided to 1008 clients and psychological assistance was given to twelve victims of human trafficking, their families, and others close to the victims. Most clients suggested that they wanted to work abroad in order to leave their current situations of psychological or physical violence at home, they had lost faith in themselves, or felt unable to confront their loved ones. The goal of the consultations were to restore the psychological balance of clients who may have been suffering for an extended period of time, raise self esteem, overcome crises, reduce stress, encourage positive acceptance of negative experiences, restore faith in self, eliminate consequences of posttraumatic stress, assist with personal growth, cope with complexes and fears, and overcome uncertainties.
  • Educational courses for graduate schools and orphanages
       Our courses trained 945 young people between 13 and 18 years old, who received information on human trafficking and its existing risks, methods of personal safety when departing abroad, methods of recruitment and transportation of human traffickers, various kinds of human trafficking operations, international standards, and national legislations in Kazakhstan. The one-day trainings were from 10.00 to 18.00.

       During the project period, 46 educational training were conducted at the following sites: Otrar District; School № 8; School № 38; Vocational School № 6; Shaulder; Erke "Summer Camp" in Mashat; Youth Orphanage; Boarding School "Umit"; Sozaksk District; Saryagash City; NGO "Sana Sezim" (3 trainings); Regional Youth Home; Lenger Town Library; School № 1; School № 14; Information Center for the Support of Democracy; Clara Center Sapar; Civil Alliance of the South Kazakhstan Region; School № 36; School № 4; South Kazakhstan Medical Academy; School № 3; School № 31; South Kazakhstan State University; International Kazakh-Turkish University; Russian-Kazakhstan University; School № 12; School № 30; Turkestan; White Water Township; School № 34; Vocational School № 5; Vocational School № 2; School № 35; Lenger township, School № 2; Summer Camp "Arman" in Mashat (5 trainings); Orphanage № 1, Arys City; International Academy of Languages; Social Studies and Humanities University; School № 41; School № 18; Center for Social Rehabilitation and Adaptation of Minors of the South Kazakhstan Region.
  • Information campaign
       A total of 12000 booklets were distributed to potential victims of human trafficking, who were women and children between the ages of 13 through 45 years old. The booklets contained information about existing risks of human trafficking, methods of personal safety when departing abroad, methods of recruitment and transportation of human traffickers, existing types of human trafficking, and the NGO "Sana Sezim" confidential telephone hotline number. NGO "Sana Sezim" gave information and statistics to representatives of mass media for publications, a total of twenty-three articles were published in newspapers by our staff, and public service announcements were made on television and the European Commission project website.
  • Publication of brochure, "Principles of Personal Safety"
       A total of 1000 brochures containing all contacts and telephone numbers of local services, embassies, consulates, and helpful non-governmental organizations in CIS countries and other countries, along with a list of the licensed and cancelled travel companies were provided to seminar and training participants and women and children who are potential victims of human trafficking.
  • Confidential telephone hotline results
       The confidential telephone hotline of NGO "Sana Sezim" made a total of 132 weekly advertisements with descriptions of free and confidential consultations in the local newspapers including, "Shara-bara," which contains many job offers abroad, marriage announcements, modeling agencies advertisements, etc. Regular coverage of the problem in mass media helped to effectively inform a wide audience of people in the South Kazakhstan Region.

       On March 13, 2007, the Legal Center for Women's Initiatives "Sana Sezim" held a press conference at the office of the Association of Civil Alliance of the South Kazakhstan Region to publicize the results of its project, "Stop Traffick!" Twenty representatives of government bodies, media, non-governmental organizations and the South Kazakhstan community participated in the press conference, which was reported in three newspaper articles and five radio stations and television channels.

   NGO "Sana Sezim" independently held a drawing and essay contest called "I Am Against Violence and Slavery!" at Shymkent schools as part of the International Campaign, "16 Days Without Violence." The first place winner was awarded DVD player, (2) second place winners received tape recorders, (3) third place winners were awarded cameras, and all participants were awarded prizes for participation.
The Volunteer Club of NGO "Sana Sezim," which consists of students from schools and universities, distributed information about our services, confidential telephone hotline and psychological and legal assistance.

   Beneficiaries of the project, the community of the South Kazakhstan Region, learned about the problems of trafficking in persons through information campaigns, seminars, and trainings. The results were the decrease the involvement of young people in the network of traffickers and a shift in the community's understanding of how people become victims of trafficking. Also, law enforcement officials and other authorities were trained in order to quickly and effectively assist victims of trafficking. Our legal and psychological assistance, and telephone hotline provided immediate care, decreased discomforts in families, and restored the rights of victims of human trafficking.

   Active participants from our trainings and seminars became members of the NGO "Sana Sezim" Volunteer Club, which consists of 25 youth who regularly conduct peer-to-peer trainings at schools, hold weekly meetings, and are managed by a Peace Corps Volunteer and its Volunteer Club Coordinator.

   Many thanks go to our project partners, the Migration Police, Office of Criminal Police, prosecutors and UBOP (Department to Combat Terrorism, Religious Extremism and Trafficking in Persons), and National Commission on Family and Gender Policy under the Akim of the South Kazakhstan Region. Interactions with the these authorities made it possible for the project to assist victims of trafficking (filing applications, receiving psychological and legal assistance, seeking emergency assistance in crisis situations), and labor migrants, who are potential victims of trafficking. The aforementioned authorities actively implemented laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan in "Migrant," a joint raid of our the project, "Legalization of Labor Migrants," which aimed to register migrants for work upon arrival in Kazakhstan, legalizing documents, confirming employment contracts between employers and employees, extending stay in Kazakhstan, etc.

   Cooperation with state authorities proved to be successful and enabled NGO "Sana Sezim to effectively execute this project in conjunction with other projects. Nevertheless, human trafficking continues to affect communities in Kazakhstan, thus relationships with state structures and community members are fundamental in continuing our activities to eradicate human trafficking.