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The next Central Asian Regional Simulation exercise "Combating Trafficking in Persons: Strengthening Interagency Cooperation through Simulation Training" kicked off in Astana. This large-scale event will last from June 26 to 30, 2023.

Since 2018, simulation exercises on combating trafficking in persons on migration routes have been held in Kazakhstan. They are organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana with the support of the Office of the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and other international organizations. The venue for the exercises is the Law Enforcement Academy under the General Prosecutor's Office of Kazakhstan, which is an important anti-trafficking center.

During the week, participants will practice their skills in responding to trafficking in persons alerts in as realistic an environment as possible. In the training scenario they will search for and identify victims of trafficking in persons, provide them with necessary assistance, conduct investigative activities, collect evidence, and prepare procedural documents.

One of the important features of this training is the opportunity to practice cooperation schemes between all anti-trafficking actors, including the nongovernmental sector. This contributes to effective cooperation and joint efforts in combating this serious crime.

The previous events resulted in two international and three national simulation exercises. More than 400 prosecutors, police, migration and social services, labor inspectors and representatives of non-governmental organizations were trained and gained valuable experience.

Representatives from five Central Asian countries are participating in today's event, which is an important step toward strengthening regional cooperation. And we strongly believe that all participants know that combating human trafficking is a task that requires the joint efforts of all stakeholders.