On 21 October 29, 2021, the 19th Meeting of the Prosecutors General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held, via videoconference, under India's chairmanship.
Taking part in the event were Solicitor General of the Republic of India Tushar Mehta, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan Gizat Nurdauletov, Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China Zhang Jun, First Deputy Prosecutor General of the Kyrgyz Republic Abai Moldokmatov, Additional Attorney General for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Aamir Rehman, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Tajikistan Yusuf Rakhmon, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan Nigmatilla Yuldashev, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Jumakhon Giyosov.
The participants exchanged views on the growth in transnational organised crime in the world, as well as on the experience of combatting its most dangerous manifestations, including trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov delivered a speech at the event and informed the meeting participants about the state and trends of crime related to human trafficking, both at the global level and directly in the SCO region.
According to Mr Norov, in the context of growing globalisation, human trafficking has become a serious problem that needs to be addressed at the global, interregional, regional and national levels. According to the UN, over 21 million people are victims of this crime worldwide, of whom 55% are women, 31% are girls, and 12% are adult men. The number of children who have become victims of human trafficking is growing, accounting for 30% of victims.
"Today, when 4.6 billion people have access to the internet, information and communication technologies are becoming one of the key tools in the hands of traffickers.
The use of ICTs makes it easier for criminals to access new sites, which contributes to market expansion, simplifies the procedures for entering into illegal transactions and monitoring of victims, and also creates the risk of re-victimisation.
In addition, criminals can conceal their identity in the virtual space through encrypted applications and use the Darknet to recruit and exploit victims.
This inhuman and transnational nature of human trafficking requires unified efforts by the supervisory authorities of all countries to eradicate gross violations of human rights and freedoms," added Mr Norov.
The SCO Secretary-General put forward a number of initiatives to unite the efforts of the prosecutor general's offices of the SCO member states to eradicate gross violations of human rights and freedoms. He made a special emphasis on the need to develop a SCO Joint Action Programme, to regularly exchange legal information for the subsequent approximation of national legislation, conduct joint preventive measures and special operations, train prosecutors, and hold international conferences, round tables and thematic seminars within the SCO.
In conclusion, he noted that in modern conditions it was necessary to fight resolutely against such an evil as human trafficking, protect the rights of victims and provide them with comprehensive assistance, as well as ensure vigorous prosecution of those involved. We consider it important to establish close contacts within the SCO through the adoption of coordinated and consistent measures to combat human trafficking.
Following the discussion, the prosecutors general decided to strengthen cooperation in preventing the growing threat of human trafficking, continue the exchange of information on national legislation, develop interaction between educational organisations and to hold events at various levels.
The heads of delegations agreed to hold the 20th Meeting of the SCO Prosecutors General in Kazakhstan in 2022.