Travelers to Ganja—Azerbaijan’s second-largest city and the economic center of the country’s rural west—find an ancient cultural center that has grown into a bustling commercial marketplace. Yet, they are rarely aware that Ganja is also a major hub for Azerbaijan’s human trafficking networks. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and committed local activists, many of whom are lawyers, are often the only forces fighting the problem.
The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) trains those activists, advocates, lawyers and NGO representatives who are striving to curb human trafficking. Namiq Allahverdiyev is one of those activists. She runs the Ganja Law Center, an NGO that provides free legal services to the local population, including to human trafficking victims. While the center was able to make significant contributions to the community, Allahverdiyev was looking for opportunities to learn how other countries handle the problem and how she could make use of international law to better assist her clients.
In July, Allahverdiyev—along with 28 other activists—attended an ABA ROLI-organized two-day training on human trafficking law. The training covered international human trafficking laws and various countries’ anti-human trafficking strategies. Participants also received related publications for their reference. Allahverdiyev said that what she learned in the training will help enhance the assistance she provides to her clients. She said that the information she gained on domestic and international anti-human trafficking legislation as well as on organizations that provide shelter to victims will come in handy.
ABA ROLI will continue to offer similar trainings to help activists serve their clients better, educate their communities about the dangers of human trafficking and use the law to alleviate Azerbaijan’s human trafficking problem.
To learn more about our work in Azerbaijan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.