Trainings and Multidisciplinary Meetings
There have been several foreign interventions to foster increased responsiveness of state actors to the problem. The most active were from the United States. American University’s TraCCC created training materials for a multidisciplinary audience, used at a 2001 seminar in Budapest attended by some investigators and prosecutors from Russia (Stoecker and Shelley 2005). The Saratov affiliate, with the local law school, compiled a training manual of existing criminal law cases. Other interventions came from organizations actively involved in other gender violence issues in Russia, such as the Consortium of Women’s Nongovernmental Organizations, which was conducting law enforcement trainings, and the Russian American Rule of Law Consortium, which was working with judges and attorneys in the Russian Far East (Stoecker 2005, 24). With U. S. funding, the ABA-CEELI has coordinated meetings, including two national assemblies on trafficking, and created a directory of organizations addressing trafficking in order to foster partnerships between law enforcement and civil society, as recommended by the OSCE.
The U. S. Department of Justice was also actively involved. With hundreds of thousands of dollars per year from the State Department, they supported the U. S.-Russian antitrafficking task force that had pushed for legislation as well as training and coordination of law enforcement. Following the law’s passage, the interagency task force, under the auspices of the Russian Duma committee on law and procedure, traveled around Russia to promote the law’s implementation. Including representatives of various ministries, international organizations, and local experts, the group meets regularly to gather information and to discuss the implementation of antitrafficking legislation (Duban 2006, 50). In 2004—2005, the U. S. Embassy law enforcement project collaborated with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to provide training for Russian law enforcement in several Russian regions (Tiuriukanova 2006, 77).
Also involved were the Nordic countries, for which trafficking in Russian women has become a practical problem. The Nordic Council, the intergovernmental coalition of the five Nordic countries that has collaborated with northwest Russia since the Soviet disintegration, began a series of projects in the 2000s, including trainings and exchange programs with Russian law enforcement. In 2004, the council began to develop a Nordic-Baltic-Russian women’s police network to better respond to trafficking in women. Other interventions have been more ad hoc, from individual Nordic countries or organizations. For example, several Swedish and Norwegian officials and activists took part in a 2005 antitrafficking multidisciplinary conference in Murmansk. Despite a call within the council to synchronize the response to the problem, the Nordic countries continue to have different approaches to trafficking and prostitution, from Sweden’s antiprostitution stance to other less regulated societies such as Denmark. What unites them is not their interest in promoting women’s rights, but concern over the influx of undocumented Russian women across their borders.
Some procedural reforms have resulted. It has become common to hold multidisciplinary meetings across Russia that include Russian women’s NGOs, local and national officials, and regional and national law enforcement. Additionally, by 2002, a special unit within the MIA was formed to address violence against women and human trafficking, and according to the Russian government, it coordinates with nongovernmental organizations (Russian Federation 2004). In 2003, the Ministry of Labor, with Moscow crisis center Syostri, conducted a series of trainings of executive officials in seventeen regions across Russia. In early 2007, the MIA apparently created a federal antitrafficking unit (U. S Department of State 2007). At the same time, some of these initiatives, especially the U. S.- funded interagency task force, have created nationalist resistance.49