Prevention of Human Trafficking

The IOM office in Moscow and the Delegation
of the European Commission to the Russian Federation have launched
an ambitious and comprehensive programme to prevent human
trafficking in the Russian Federation.

This 30-month, 4.4 million Euro programme
funded by the European Union with co-financing support from the
Swiss and U.S. governments, aims to increase awareness among "high
risk" groups, such as young women, minors, labour migrants as well
as among the general public on the dangers of irregular migration
and trafficking.

It also plans to improve national legislation
and policies in countering human trafficking and to build the
capacity of law enforcement bodies to more effectively detect,
investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes.

The programme will seek to improve
coordination between government and non-governmental entities
engaged in counter-trafficking activities and to strengthen
cross-border cooperation between the Russian Federation, CIS and EU

A rehabilitation centre to provide medical,
psychosocial support and reintegration assistance to victims of
human trafficking, the first of its kind in Russia, will also be
established in Moscow under the programme.

Programme activities will initially focus on
three regions – Karelia, which is a potential source area for
victims, Astrakhan, which is a transit region and Moscow Oblast,
which is both a transit and destination point.

The Russian Federation is an origin, transit
and destination country for victims of trafficking. It is estimated
that thousands of Russian women and girls are being brought each
year into the EU, South-East Asia and the United States. Russia is
also a major destination and transit point for women from the
former Soviet Union territories, including Ukraine, Belarus,
Moldova and Central Asia.

The Russian government is increasingly
demonstrating commitment to combating irregular migration and
cross-border crime, including the trafficking phenomenon on its own

In 2001-2003, the Inter-Agency Working Group
of the Legislative Committee of the State Duma initiated and
developed a draft Federal Law to Combat Trafficking in Human
Beings, which established a legal and organizational framework for
counter-trafficking in the Russian Federation.

In December 2003, the President of the Russian
Federation signed a decree enacting a set of amendments to the
Criminal Code which provided a basis for the criminalization of
trafficking in persons (Article 127-1), exploitation of slave
labour (Article 127-2), engagement in prostitution and procuring
prostitution (amended Articles 240 and 241).

In early 2004, the Parliament of Russia
ratified the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
and Protocols, including the Protocol to prevent, suppress and
punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

For further information, please call

Maria Melnikova

IOM Moscow

Tel: + 7495 797 87 22

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