The U.S. Department of State Awards $750,000 in Program Funding to Sana Sezim to Combat Human Trafficking in Kazakhstan

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan/DATE– On April 1, the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office)[1] awarded a $750,000 grant to the Shymkent-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) Sana Sezim. This award will fund a 36-month project to increase access to justice for victims of human trafficking by building the organizational capacity of civil society organizations and the judicial system to combat human trafficking in Kazakhstan. Under the leadership of Sana Sezim, also known as the Legal Center for Women’s Initiatives, the project will create a network of organizations across the country to collectively strengthen national human trafficking legislation, conduct information campaigns, and provide legal assistance to victims of trafficking. This project will contribute to advancing the professionalism and empowerment of victim-service NGOs in Kazakhstan, which can be a critical partner to the government in the prosecution of traffickers, protection of victims, and prevention of human trafficking.

“Trafficking in persons is a global scourge that affects every country. The U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan has a long history of cooperation on this issue and this award is just the next step in working together to address this problem”, said Sean Boda, spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Nur-Sultan.

While this is the first project in Kazakhstan funded by the TIP Office, the U.S. Department of State has long supported the Government of Kazakhstan to address human trafficking through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). For the past 15 years, INL programs have helped combat human trafficking in Kazakhstan by strengthening the skills of law enforcement, judicial officials, and other actors that can play a role in identifying human trafficking and prosecuting traffickers. In addition, INL programs in victim identification are increasing the number of law enforcement officials, labor inspectors, and border guards who can properly identify victims of trafficking and respond appropriately.  INL has also actively supported Kazakhstan’s development of its anti-trafficking legislation.

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Learn more about Sana Sezim: http://sanasezim.org/

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For more information on the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons’ International Programs: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/intprog/index.htm

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[1] The TIP Office invests in programs that hold promise for advancing the anti-trafficking movement around the world. Since 2001, the TIP Office has managed over 960 awards totaling more than $300 million in foreign assistance for anti-trafficking efforts implemented by U.S. and foreign NGOs, institutions of higher education, for-profit organizations, and international organizations.