Message from IOM
for Central Asia

We live in an age of unprecedented human mobility. Migration is considered one of the defining global issues of the early twenty-first century, with more and more people on the move today than at any other point in history


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Counter-Trafficking and Assistance to Migrants in Central Asia

IOM has been working on the problem of human trafficking in Central Asia since 1998. IOM was the first organization to raise this pressing issue and direct the attention of Central Asian governments to the illegal exportation of their citizens abroad for the purposes of sexual and labour exploitation. Over the last ten years, IOM, in support of the international drive to fight human trafficking, has implemented numerous projects aimed at the prevention of human trafficking, protection of victims of trafficking, prosecution of recruiters and traffickers and development of regional co-operation among the countries of Central Asia. IOM also works closely with intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.

In December 2000, the Organization adopted the definition of trafficking in persons as set forth in the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime:

“Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”.

IOM considers trafficking as a coercive and exploitative process starting with recruitment in the place of origin and continuing with exploitation in the places of transit and destination. Despite the fact that in general trafficking involves crossing of at Least one international border, unfortunately it also occurs within the boundaries of a single country in Central Asian region.

In order to act against trafficking at each point of trafficking process, IOM takes a multi-pronged approach to help prevent trafficking, mainly in the country of origin, to prosecute traffickers, and to protect victims of trafficking.

IOM has a 10-year experience in implementing counter-trafficking activities and has provided assistance to more then 5 000 victims of trafficking in Central Asian states. IOM recognizes that each victim is unique and is in need of individual assistance.



The Kyrgyz Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for purposes of trafficking. Main destination countries, where nationals of the Kyrgyz Republic are trafficked for labour exploitation, are Kazakhstan (agriculture, livestock farming, construction) and Russia (construction, private business and agriculture). IOM estimates that between 5,000 and 15,000 victims are trafficked from the Kyrgyz Republic to other countries annually. 64% of 5 million population of Kyrgyzstan is below the national poverty line.

In implementing its activities, IOM relies on the support of more than 35 NGO partners working in the area of counter-trafficking.


  • Developing and printing of more than 15 different types of information materials in Kyrgyz and Russian;
  • Information campaign “Stop Traffic” among schoolchildren, labour migrants, and within local communities;
  • More than 35 NGO partners continuously inform the population about risks of illegal employment abroad;
  • 7 “Stop Traffic” Hotlines operate all over the Republic with unique three-digit number 189. During the period of 2006 – 2010 hotline operators have provided more than 30 000 consultations;
  • More than 50 banners and bill-boards are installed advertising the hotlines;
  • Video and audio-reels informing about the risk of being trafficked are broadcasted on national TV and radio-channels.


In the Kyrgyz Republic IOM supports 2 shelters for victims of trafficking and an asylum for re habilitation of children- victims of trafficking.

Practical aid to victims of human trafficking, in cooperation with NGO partners is provided in the following forms:


Booking of tickets, provision of travel documents, accompanying victims of human trafficking to an airport (other point of destination if needed), airport pick-up and accompanying to the point of destination.


Providing shelter support, assignment of legal, medical consultations, medical treatment if necessary.


Assistance in providing professional education, assignment of reintegration scholarships, assistance in further employment. During the period of 2002-2010 IOM provided rehabilitation assistance to 1 130 victims of trafficking.


  • Trainings for law-enforcement officers;
  • Assistance in developing legislation;
  • Development of methodology on investigating trafficking crimes;
  • Development of training modules and materials for law enforcement officers.

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