Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

Over the past week, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic together with the OSCE Office in Bishkek organised the Second National Simulation Exercise on Combating Human Trafficking. This activity was also supported by the Prague Process and other partner organisations.

Trafficking in human beings in the Kyrgyz Republic remains a hidden and latent threat. Coordination between state actors as well as with civil society remains a challenge. Given the complexities of striking a balance between effective investigation and protection of trafficked persons, it is often difficult to train government and law enforcement officials to deal with the everyday dynamics and pressures of anti-trafficking work. To address this, the OSCE developed this innovative training method in which trainees participate in a real-time simulation and can effectively "learn by doing".

The main aim of the simulation training was to improve inter-agency cooperation under the referral mechanism, focusing on the needs of trafficked persons. The involved agencies had to perform their respective roles and duties in identifying and assisting several victims of labour and sexual exploitation, as well as in identifying and prosecuting the traffickers. Each day of the training featured a debriefing session to discuss challenges and coordinate the next steps.

The simulation has clearly demonstrated that national authorities require more practice concerning day-to-day cooperation on trafficking cases with state and non-state actors. The training thereby provided a unique space for trial and error that shall facilitate real life cooperation in the anti-trafficking work. In 2023, a regional simulation shall bring together all five countries of Central Asia.