US Department of State refers Azerbaijan to 2nd category of countries for human trafficking

Politics Materials 6 June 2006 15:19

The US Department of State published an annual report on Human trafficking. Azerbaijan was referred to second category of existing three, Trend reports citing the report.

Moreover, all CIS countries, including Georgia and Armenia, which they considered a primary source and transit country of women and girls, which are trafficked for sexual exploitation mainly in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most Azerbaijani victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation to Turkey and the Persian Gulf. Other destinations include Russia, Germany, and Greece.

The Government of Azerbaijan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government undertook important steps to prevent and combat trafficking during the reporting period. In 2005, the government passed anti-trafficking legislation, appointed a new national anti-trafficking coordinator, fully vetted the staff of an anti-trafficking police unit, nearly completed renovations of a trafficking shelter, and created two new trafficking hotlines, the reports underlined.

The government should take immediate and tangible steps to improve victim rehabilitation by opening, adequately staffing, and fully funding its shelter for trafficking victims.

In 2005, the Government of Azerbaijan adopted its Law on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and adopted corresponding amendments to the criminal code. The law covers trafficking for both forced labor and sexual exploitation and carries a maximum penalty of 10 to 12 years. During the reporting period, the government opened 160 trafficking investigations and prosecuted 153 cases, resulting in 93 convictions. The government gave fines to 26 convicted traffickers and gave suspended sentences to 10 convicted traffickers in 2005.

The document was developed on the base of information provided by US embassies, senior government officials of foreign countries, non-governmental organizations, research centers.