U.S. Department of State Releases 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report

The Government of Azerbaijan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Azerbaijan remained on Tier 2. The government demonstrated increasing efforts by establishing a new victim assistance center to provide specialized support services and maintaining good cooperation with civil society at the other victim assistance center. The government increased funding to civil society to organize awareness campaigns and funded an NGO to provide training to local police on victim identification. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. Law enforcement lacked an understanding of trafficking and victim-centered approaches. First responders did not consistently follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and made minimal efforts proactively identifying Azerbaijani victims of internal trafficking, including children. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA)-run shelter often did not accommodate victims who did not cooperate with law enforcement and the government did not provide funding to NGO-run shelters despite relying heavily on their victim support and reintegration services.