U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kazakhstan
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kazakhstan, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7cd23.html [accessed 29 April 2016]|
Kazakhstan (Tier 3)
[*Please note: Kazakhstan was updated to Tier 2 per President George W. Bush, Presidential Determination No. 2003-35, September 9, 2003.]
Kazakhstan is a source, transit and destination country for women and men trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Victims are trafficked to and through Kazakhstan from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and are trafficked from Kazakhstan to the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, South Korea, Turkey, Israel, and Albania. Some internal trafficking has been reported from rural areas to the cities.
The Government of Kazakhstan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government's anti-trafficking focus and activity dropped significantly last year and it failed to follow through on plans devised in the previous year. However, it presented to Parliament long-awaited draft anti-trafficking legislation, which passed the lower house of Parliament on May 15.
The government's anti-trafficking prevention campaigns were limited to activities conducted in varying degrees at the regional level. With the departure of the former head of the President's Commission on Women and Family from the position of government anti-trafficking coordinator, the Commission's focus on trafficking weakened. However, the Commission, in conjunction with the Gender Crimes unit of the Ministry of Interior, conducted research on trafficking victimization, although the results were not yet released by April 2003. Representatives of the Commission conducted varying preventive activities, such as circulating NGO-produced anti-trafficking information in schools, in all 16 of Kazakhstan's administrative districts. The government began implementing a bilateral labor agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic that allows a quota of legally protected Kyrgyz workers in Kazakhstan.
The operative anti-trafficking article in Kazakhstan, Article 330, criminalizes organization of illicit migration, which includes trafficking across international borders and trafficking of minors. Some trafficking cases may be prosecuted under related crimes, such as recruitment for sexual or other exploitation and organization of brothels. While there were many reported investigations, officials reported no cases for any of the above-mentioned crimes which had proceeded to court. The police currently are investigating a case against a North Korean accused of trafficking women from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan, as well as cases in Akmolinsk, Northern Kazakhstan, Southern Kazakhstan, and Zhambul oblasts. The government also cooperated with the governments of South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey on trafficking cases. The Financial Police arrested the owner of a suspect travel agency after Almaty police dropped a criminal case against the same company. The civil case has been ongoing for two years, as have advocates' attempts to see prosecution. The suspect is now in custody. A working group led by the Ministry of Justice completed a set of anti-trafficking amendments to the criminal code and forwarded them to Parliament for a vote on May 15. The government appointed the Prosecutor General to take the lead as the focal point for trafficking efforts, and the Law Enforcement Coordinating Council is working on anti-trafficking strategies. The government included a three-hour anti-trafficking training module in the prosecutors' mandatory re-certification training program.
The government does not have a system for identifying potential victims amongst vulnerable groups, which puts possible victims at risk for summary deportation and criminalization during police street sweeps. The government provides some protection in individual cases brought to its attention, but it does not actively screen for victims in order to offer protection. The criminal procedure code allows for certain protections in and out of court for witnesses; however, lack of resources prevents protection for witnesses in trafficking cases. Government officials refer victims to NGOs for services at the local level, although no reports were provided regarding actual victims assisted during the reporting period.