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Adiba Umarova

Tajikistan , Class of 2005

Adiba Umarova

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As a journalist in Tajikistan, Adiba Umarova was able to re-open a cold case which led to the arrest of a trafficking ringleader.

Adiba Umarova was part of a program sponsored by the United States Government. This program was meant to strengthen media development in Tajikistan. As a part of her work with that program, Ms. Umarova began investigating an alleged instance of human trafficking where men from Tajikistan were being offered jobs in Moscow, but upon arrival were placed in forced labor. A couple of the men had escaped from this scheme, and tried to bring the recruiters to justice. The case had been closed and the suspected trafficker had been released, but Ms. Umarova did not let that deter her. She pursued the regional authorities, going over the head of the local government officials, and eventually convinced them to re-open the case, as well as creating a short documentary which featured an interview with one of the government officials, a documentary which focused on labor trafficking and corruption. In 2005, she was honored as a "TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery" in recognition of her efforts.

In the 2014 TIP Report, Tajikistan was listed as a Tier 2 country. It is primarily a source country for both forced labor and sex trafficking. Men and women are shipped abroad for both purposes. While the government has reduced forced labor within the cotton harvest, victim identification must be improved as well as access to victim services. 

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