U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kazakhstan
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||3 June 2005|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kazakhstan, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d84c23.html [accessed 3 June 2015]|
Kazakhstan (Tier 2)
Kazakhstan is a source, transit, and destination country for people trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Kazakhstani men, women, and children are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Syria, and Western Europe. Persons from other countries in Central Asia, particularly Uzbekistan, are trafficked through or to Kazakhstan primarily for forced labor in construction and agriculture. Internal trafficking occurs from rural to urban areas for the purposes of both sexual and labor exploitation. Small trafficking rings, employment and travel agencies, and marriage brokers are often involved in trafficking individuals out of Kazakhstan.
The Government of Kazakhstan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Kazakhstan's interagency National Working Group on Trafficking in Persons met regularly and made progress in implementing the National Action Plan adopted in February 2004. The government incorporated anti-trafficking curricula at high schools and universities, and local governments and NGOs throughout Kazakhstan concluded formal agreements of cooperation. The government should adopt amendments it has drafted to strengthen its anti-trafficking legislation, support legislative and prosecutorial initiatives to increase convictions and penalties, and considerably increase funds for trafficking victim assistance and prevention programs.
The Government of Kazakhstan increased its convictions of traffickers during the reporting period, although prosecution numbers remain low relative to the size of the problem. The Kazakhstani Criminal Code covers trafficking for the purposes of sexual or other exploitation both internally and abroad. The government has drafted a set of amendments to strengthen anti-trafficking legislation by more clearly defining trafficking, increasing penalties, and improving protection of victims. Law enforcement conducted 27 trafficking-related investigations during the last year. The courts prosecuted 14 cases and convicted 12 traffickers. However, only five of these traffickers are currently serving prison time; the rest received suspended sentences. Among other training events, the Ministry of Internal Affairs held a conference on trafficking in December 2004 for law enforcement from all parts of the country. In 2004, Kazakhstan cooperated on trafficking investigations with Uzbekistan, Russia, and the U.A.E. Evidence exists of some government officials' complicity in trafficking. During the reporting period, the government investigated two higher-level officials suspected of aiding trafficking rings.
Kazakhstan increased its efforts to protect trafficking victims in 2004; however, protection and assistance to victims remained inadequate mainly due to lack of government resources. The government grants temporary residency to identified trafficking victims to ensure safe repatriation or participation in criminal proceeding against their traffickers, though this residency is not specifically guaranteed by law. Local law enforcement officials have a mechanism to refer victims to crisis centers and shelters based on formal agreements with NGOs. The government provided a small amount of funding to the Union of Crisis Centers in 2004, whose member NGOs run nationwide trafficking hotlines and shelters to assist all types of victims, including trafficking victims. In the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, the local government provided room, board, and protection for trafficking victims, in conjunction with a local NGO. Shelters reported effective coordination with local law enforcement to increase patrols and respond quickly to calls. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs assisted in the repatriation of 36 Kazakhstani citizens from abroad, up from 24 in 2003.
Public information about trafficking and education campaigns sponsored by the government has led to greater awareness of the risks of traveling abroad for employment. The government incorporated an anti-trafficking component into curricula at high schools, vocational schools, and universities, and required private and state television and radio stations to broadcast anti-trafficking public service announcements. The government covered the costs of disseminating information packets to media outlets with information on assistance hotlines and government efforts to combat trafficking. Law enforcement agencies continued to undertake unannounced inspections and investigations of travel and employment agencies. Kazakhstan's National Action Plan is publicly available and lays out a multi-year strategy to combat trafficking.