USAID Helps Return 35 Victims of Human Trafficking to Uzbekistan

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USAID helps return 35 victims of human trafficking to Uzbekistan
Sanobar Khudaybergenova for USAID/Uzbekistan

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022, Tashkent, Uzbekistan - From October 2021 to the present, 35 Uzbekistani victims of trafficking in persons (TIP) were returned home and provided medical and social rehabilitation services with the assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Istiqlol Avlodi non-profit organization. The Uzbekistani citizens were trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation to countries including the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

“Human trafficking is a global crime that trades in people and exploits them for profit. People of all genders, ages and backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world,” said Luann Gronhovd, Acting Director of USAID Mission in Uzbekistan. “Combating trafficking in persons around the world is a key priority of USAID and of the United States Government more broadly." Since 2005, USAID has invested more than $9.6 million to raise awareness of human trafficking and to provide assistance to victims of this crime in Uzbekistan.

USAID works with the National Commission on Combatting TIP and Forced Labor, and local partners including Istiqlol Avlodi, a Commission member, to identify victims of human trafficking in Uzbekistan and abroad. USAID recently launched the Information and Resource Center for Migrants in Jizzakh, which helps identify victims of TIP. The Center also provides advice and information to labor migrants and their families.  

After trafficking victims are identified, USAID works to facilitate their safe return and reintegration into their communities. Returning migrants, including victims of TIP, are provided access to psychological services, legal advice, social support, and vocational training. In addition to rehabilitation, USAID provides support to groups at risk for trafficking.

“Under USAID’s Safe Migration Activity, we are working to increase awareness among labor migrants and at-risk groups of population about the way to find legal employment, as well as their rights and liabilities in foreign countries,” said the chairperson of Istiqlol Avlodi, Nazifa Kamalova.

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USAID partners with the Government of Uzbekistan to diversify the country’s economy and increase regional trade, address serious health threats – including COVID-19 – and build the government’s capacity to respond to the population’s needs. For more information, please visit: https://www.usaid.gov/uzbekistan, and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USAIDUzbekistan/

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Last updated: September 27, 2022

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