Three Days in “Anti-Trafficking zone”

Interview with David Tumasyan, Doctor of Philosophy in Law, Senior Legal Assistant “Strengthening the Implementation Capacity of the Armenian Anti-Trafficking National Action Plan Actors” Project Democratization Programme OSCE Office in Yerevan.

– During the training there were many questions concerning the fact that the legal and journalistic fields very often intersect especially while disseminating trafficking. How this “intersection” may be regulated?

– First of all I would like to say that journalistic activity like any other activity is under legal regulation, particularly it is regulated by the laws of Republic of Armenia < On the dissemination on mass information > and < On freedom of information >. Journalist as any other worker or specialist, has rights and responsibilities, therefore their respective application is obligatory.

– Today’s journalist cooperates with law enforcement bodies while preparing news about trafficking. What do you think what is the best method for that cooperation?

– During dissemination of all types of crimes, cooperation with law enforcement bodies is advisable. Whenever ecovering a material on a crime or its examination, he does not often take notice of few details, which are considered not important by them, however in the reality are important and very useful for the examination of the case. Moreover, very often the journalists undertake the function of the court on themselves and qualify behaviors, for instance titling kidnapping or violation of working legal relations human trafficking, not adhering to the qualification rules, or, moreover, they violate the presumption of innocence presenting the process of the case as a given fact.

– To what extent does Armenian legislation provide a proper qualification for human trafficking cases today? And if there are flaws, which are they?

– Though the articles on the trafficking have basically changed in 2011, nevertheless there is a lot to do also in this sphere. So, in 2011, in accordance with EU Directive, one of the forms of exploitation is also exploitation of engaging within the crime, which is not still fixed by our criminal law. As human trafficking is a rapidly transforming crime, hence it is necessary to provide flexibility also in the legislative fight against it.

– Is there cooperation between the state and non-state institutions in the fight against trafficking acting inside the country and out of its borders and the experience of which country do you consider the best at this point?

– The cooperation in the Republic of Armenia is conducted in compliance with the national referral procedure ratified by R.A. government in 2009, where cooperation, methods and exchange of information is provided for state authorized body’s and NGO’s. As for the best international experience, I should mention that the activities preventing labor exploitation in Armenia are being modernized and the best experience against forced labor are in place in Brazil and Belgium.


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