IOM has been working on the problem of human trafficking in Central Asia since 1998. IOM was the first organization to raise this pressing issue and direct the attention of Central Asian governments to the illegal exportation of their citizens abroad for the purposes of sexual and labour exploitation. Over the last ten years, IOM, in support of the international drive to fight human trafficking, has implemented numerous projects aimed at the prevention of human trafficking, protection of victims of trafficking, prosecution of recruiters and traffickers and development of regional co-operation among the countries of Central Asia. IOM also works closely with intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.

IOM considers trafficking as a coercive and exploitative process starting with recruitment in the place of origin and continuing with exploitation in the places of transit and destination. Despite the fact that in general trafficking involves crossing of at least one international border, unfortunately it also occurs within the boundaries of a single country in Central Asian region.

In order to act against trafficking at each point of trafficking process, IOM takes a multi-pronged approach to help prevent trafficking, mainly in the country of origin, to prosecute traffickers, and to protect victims of trafficking.