Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign Reaches Nearly A Million People in Uzbekistan

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Marathon in Uzbekistan
Istiqbolli Avlod

Starting in 2013, July 30 has been recognized as World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Since then, USAID’s grantee, Istiqbolli Avlod, has been conducting events and activities to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons in Uzbekistan.

In 2020, for the first time, Istiqbolli Avlod organized a large-scale month-long campaign, ‘30 Days in Partnership against Human Trafficking’, partnering with over 200 organizations from across government, non-governmental organizations, businesses, media organizations, and the public including especially youth. With such diverse partners, the campaign was able to reach a wide segment of the population and messages about anti-trafficking resonated across Uzbekistan’s society.

Thanks to USAID’s financial assistance to a regional project, ‘Combating Trafficking in Persons’ implemented by the International Organization for Migration, Istiqbolli Avlod together with the National Commission on Combating Human Trafficking, was able to host a total of 26 events at supermarkets, fast-food joints, local bazars, pharmacies, and other public spaces across Uzbekistan. 

Leveraging radio and television broadcasts on Uzbekiston-24, Sevimli, Gosteleradio, Karakalpakstan (‘Qaraqalpaqstan’ TV), Jizzakh (‘Jizzakh’ TV), Karakalpakstan and other regional channels and as well as publications in newspapers and online editions, the campaign reached as many as a million people in Uzbekistan. Through the campaign, about 30 articles were published in the media and more than 100 posts were published on social networks. In addition, well-known bloggers, and journalists such as Nikita Makarenko, Lola Islamova, among others, also joined the campaign, expressed their support, and shared recommendations to solve the problem.

Partnering with the private sector, including large business chains such as and Makro supermarkets, A5 pharmacy; fast food companies such as Evos, Fish and bread cafes; the taxi delivery service Drive; and Neo restaurant, Istiqbolli Avlod garnered additional support for the campaign including showcasing and distributing campaign flyers and posters across the country.

Putting their creativity to good use, the youth developed new approaches to spread the informational campaign. In Jizzakh, volunteers built a sign, ‘We are against human trafficking’ using white stones on a mountainside; in Andijan, students actively participated in drawing, video, and poem contests; in Qarshi and Tashkent, young activists conducted two online quizzes ‘Human trafficking - myth or reality?’ for their peers. A young art teacher in Qarshi organized a theatrical performance with his students. Volunteers held campaigns distributing flyers in grocery stores and mahallas in all regions of Uzbekistan. A young campaign participant had this to say: “Youth against human trafficking! We want to help spread the word about the problem to warn people.”

Government bodies supported the campaign by installing roadside banners visible to drivers at checkpoints in every region of the country. For instance, 20 banners with a campaign logo were installed in Namangan. A video advertisement was broadcasted on LED screens for 30 days in the center of Tashkent city.

“Civil society institutions play a pivotal role in the national referral mechanism for victims of trafficking,” emphasized Akmal Saidov, the First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Director of the National Center for Human Rights, Member of the National Commission on Combating Human Trafficking and Forced Labor, during his opening remarks at the ‘July 30 World Day against Trafficking in Persons’ online forum. The forum was held on July 30, the last day of the campaign, and brought together more than 70 participants from various government, non-governmental and international organizations.