On the 10th of April, 2018 a two-day seminar has opened in Ashgabat. Co-organized by the Government of Turkmenistan and the IOM office in Turkmenistan according to the adopted plan of activities, it aims to acquaint media workers with the international practice of combining efforts to prevent irregular migration and stop human trafficking.

The seminar was attended by the representatives of central and regional newspapers, magazines, television, radio, Internet mass media, and press services of government institutions. The main objective of the seminar run by international experts is to study the world practice of tackling the above-said global issues of today and to prevent them through the mass media.

The seminar was held in an open discussion format, providing participants with the opportunity to ask questions, complement each other's knowledge, which allowed the discussion to be the most constructive and useful for all invited parties.

Speakers at the seminar highlighted that Turkmenistan has a wealth of positive experience of cooperation with IOM, which resulted in the setting up of a Working Group on Human Trafficking in early 2014. With the assistance of an international expert, the Group had worked out the 2016-2018 National Action Plan of Turkmenistan against Human Trafficking, which was approved by Special Resolution of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in March 2016.

 Turkmenistan sees migration, asylum support, and the protection of the rights of refugees and stateless persons as the key areas of cooperation with authoritative organizations. It is significant to note in this context that our country is strongly committed to its obligations and actively tackle the issues of migrants, refugees and stateless persons, both at national and international levels.

As an eloquent testament stand the following facts and figures: more than 13,000 people (nearly 9,500 of whom were refugees) voluntarily received Turkmen citizenship and more than 3,000 people (1,800 of whom were refugees) were granted a residence permit in 2005; 4,000 people acquired Turkmen citizenship in 2011 and 2013; 786 people – in 2014; 361 people – 2015; 1,381 people – in 2016; 1,690 people – in 2017.

To comply with the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons as well as to ensure the rights of refugees and stateless persons, who live in our country, a Resolution of the President of Turkmenistan approved new identity and travel documents of a refugee and a stateless person, as well as new residence permits.

The varied program of the seminar enabled its participants to discuss a wide range of topics, including the mass media’s role in preventing human trafficking, ways to raise public awareness about today’s dangerous threats, cooperation between international organizations, state officials and non-governmental organizations in the field of irregular migration, and approaches of journalists to the coverage of the within-said issues.