Thursday, May 1, 2008

Russia: Where MIgration Means Trafficking

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - New efforts have been launched to curb human trafficking across Russia and the ex-Soviet republics.

The Moscow office of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) is implementing a programme 'Prevention of Human Trafficking' jointly financed by the European Commission, the U.S. State Department and the Swiss government.

Aurelius Gutauskas, a Lithuanian legal expert together with experts from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the IOM are adapting features of counter-trafficking legislation in the European Union to bridge gaps in Russian law.

"The project aims at complementing the efforts of the authorities and the civil society, and to enhance prosecution and the criminalisation of trafficking," Alberto Andreani, programme coordinator for prevention of human trafficking at the Moscow IOM office told IPS.

At their annual meeting in Moscow last November, members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose organisation of ex-Soviet republics (excluding the Baltic states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) signed an anti-trafficking cooperation programme to last until 2010.

But Elena Govorina from the Angel Coalition, a Moscow-based non-profit organisation that tracks human trafficking in Russia and the region, says government action is still not enough to fight the fast growing problem. And there have been few attempts to study the social conditions that give rise to human trafficking, she said...


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