Nur-Sultan Kazakhstan, July 30, 2021 – Today, on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, in a video address, a group of Kazakhstani youth spoke to their peers across the country to raise awareness about human trafficking.
From February to May 2021, 137 students participated in a “Smart Navigator” training program in Kazakhstan, a prevention program to develop young people’s (ages 16 to 20) life skills to help them stay safe from human trafficking. The USAID-funded Safe Migration in Central Asia activity, implemented by Winrock International, adapted the program for the Central Asian context for youth participants from six regions across Kazakhstan.
Human trafficking includes the purchase, sale, or exploitation of a person by means of deception, force, or threat, as well as restriction of freedom or exploitation of person’s vulnerability. Youth looking for employment opportunities are potential targets for traffickers and therefore need to learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
The Smart Navigator training addressed the issues of safe migration and human trafficking by teaching youth in different colleges and educational institutions to think critically while accepting job offers and be aware of signs of exploitation and coercion and help them resist disingenuous offers from traffickers.
The youth participating in the video share their knowledge about forced labor and human trafficking as well as instructions on how to report it or where to seek help. The video is also being disseminated through different social media public accounts and shared among NGOs.
The USAID-funded Safe Migration in Central Asia activity is being implemented by Winrock International in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It is a five-year activity that uses evidence-based practices and cross-border connections to strengthen the mutual accountability and effectiveness of governments, NGOs, and the private sector to prevent trafficking-in-persons, protect survivors, and promote safe migration. The activity works in close cooperation with local governments, civil society, and the private sector to improve migration practices and prevent exploitation. For more information on USAID’s work in Central Asia, visit https://www.usaid.gov/central-asia-regional.