First Particular person: ‘I rescued over 1000 trafficking victims’

“My place as head of Nationwide Trafficking in Individuals Investigation Workplace in Lithuania was very difficult, but in addition very attention-grabbing. I’d conduct and coordinate home and worldwide police operations and investigations that led to the identification and rescue of victims.

We’d obtain info that there was a possible case of exploitation involving Lithuanians at a sure location. We then contacted the regulation enforcement authorities in that nation and arranged a rescue operation.

We needed to act very quick and be ready to maneuver from one place to the subsequent. I had many days when my breakfast, lunch and dinner could be in numerous international locations.

Broken lives

Typically, I’d work undercover, so not wearing a police uniform. I bear in mind having to run after a sufferer in heels down a road in the UK. I needed to be cautious to not break my leg.

Lithuanian felony teams had been very lively in human trafficking at residence and overseas at the moment. That they had superb connections to Albanian organized felony teams, which had been working throughout Europe.

I calculated that in my profession I had been concerned within the rescue of over one thousand victims of trafficking. Then I ended counting. There have been so many broken lives. I acquired a particular police award for “Saved Lives”.

I retired from the police after serving 22 years after reaching the very best attainable place throughout the subject, so by 2020 it was the time to maneuver to a global degree and share the information I had gained.

Reda Sirgediene, UNODC Regional Adviser on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Central Asia.


Reda Sirgediene, UNODC Regional Adviser on Trafficking in Individuals and Smuggling of Migrants in Central Asia.

Rising information of trafficking in Central Asia

My mandate working in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is completely different now. I shouldn’t have the form of energy I had as a nationwide police officer, however I’ve authority on behalf of UNODC to cooperate with authorities in Central Asia and supply technical help to extend the area’s capability to detect and examine instances of human trafficking.

I do know loads about this crime – how it’s organized and the strategies of the traffickers. However to achieve success in my new function, this was not sufficient.

As soon as I arrived in Central Asia, I needed to perceive the peculiarities of the area and think about the cultural and authorized background within the context of human trafficking.

I wanted to be taught concerning the completely different procedures and assets within the area to fight this crime and which investigative instruments had been obtainable.

Now I practice and mentor officers who work within the regulation enforcement and justice sectors, advise non-governmental organizations that help victims of trafficking and help the event of anti-human trafficking laws and procedures.

No matter is required, I’m right here to assist.

Investigating all types of trafficking

Based mostly on official knowledge, the principle international locations of vacation spot for folks being trafficked from Central Asia are Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and South Korea.

Apart from Kazakhstan, which can also be a vacation spot nation for victims from Central Asia, all international locations within the area are supply international locations for trafficked folks.

Most investigations are into instances of sexual exploitation and there are some detected instances of trafficking for labour exploitation.

I’m making an attempt to encourage the authorities to start out investigating different types of trafficking, corresponding to trafficking for compelled marriage, compelled begging or involvement into compelled felony actions or in armed teams.

Additionally, the official knowledge present that almost all of individuals convicted for trafficking offences, particularly in instances of sexual exploitation, are ladies. I need to discover out extra about this, as a result of I consider that behind these ladies there could possibly be males who’re the true organizers of the trafficking enterprise. It is a area the place culturally males take the lead.

Luring folks with guarantees

I’d say that traffickers are extra refined these days and extra refined.

They don’t rely a lot on the usage of violence. They lure victims with sort phrases and guarantees or fake to be a boyfriend to entice them.

At first of my profession, I skilled merciless instances through which victims had been discovered hung or overwhelmed, typically to demise. I noticed the indicators of violence on their our bodies. In different instances, victims had been drugged after which sexually exploited.

I labored on a case involving homeless Lithuanian males. They got alcohol, taken to Spain, and compelled to work on a distant farm. At evening, they had been chained to radiators so they might not escape.

The traffickers’ strategies are usually not simply extra refined, the crime additionally generates increased earnings.

For me this job will all the time be concerning the safety of human rights. It’s what I do know finest.”

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Robust Establishments

  • Sustainable Growth Purpose 16 acknowledges that battle, insecurity, weak establishments and restricted entry to justice stay a major menace to sustainable improvement.
  • It goals to scale back all types of violence and deaths attributable to that violence. It focuses on ending the abuse, exploitation, torture and trafficking of kids.
  • It promotes the rule of regulation on the nationwide and worldwide ranges and guarantee equal entry to justice for all


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