Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend I. Alizade / As a result of preventive and operative measures in Azerbaijan in 2004-2006, some 689 human trafficking incidents have been discovered and 695 people have been held criminally responsible, the National Coordinator to Combat Human Trafficking, Deputy Interior Minister, Vilayat Eyvazov, stated on 19 October at the Parliament while presenting his annual report.
During this period, 273 trafficking victims have been registered, eighty-three criminal gangs, including fifteen organized bands, have been revealed. Some 1,242 people have been held criminally responsible for immoral activity.
According to Eyvazov, as a result of the investigations, the victims are taken from Azerbaijan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pakistan, Iran, India, and Turkey.
"The reports of the international organizations describe Azerbaijan as a source and transit country for human trafficking. Cooperation with Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran is being carried out on the base of contracts and agreements on mutual legal assistance in fighting against organized crime," he said.
A similar document is being planned for signing by state bodies of the UAE, the Deputy Minister said. According to the Deputy Minister, suspicious people, as well as the process concerning adoption in Azerbaijan's orphanages will be taken under control.
According to Eyvazov, the unemployed, the poor, those living on the streets, juveniles, and drug addicts are most vulnerable to becoming victims of trafficking. The general information base consisting of information about Azerbaijan's orphanages and children' homes were developed. The base also contains information about juridical or natural persons and firms and agencies operating as mediators in placing people in jobs in Azerbaijan and abroad. " Azerbaijan was included into the list of countries of the second category of the report. Azerbaijan can remain in this list for 2007 which is a positive result of a joint struggle against human trafficking."