U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kyrgyz Republic
|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 - Kyrgyz Republic, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d84e23.html [accessed 17 September 2014]|
Kyrgyz Republic (Tier 2)
The Kyrgyz Republic is a source and transit country and, to a lesser degree, a destination country for persons trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation – to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for agricultural labor; to Russia for labor in agriculture, industry, commerce, and construction; and to China for bonded labor. Kyrgyz women and girls are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), China, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, and Syria. Researchers in 2004 concluded that 80 percent of Kyrgyz women trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation ended up in the U.A.E. Smaller numbers of trafficking victims transited the Kyrgyz Republic from Uzbekistan and South Asia to Russia, Turkey, and Europe. In 2004, the Kyrgyz Republic was a destination country for Uzbek women trafficked for sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking occurred from poor, rural areas to larger cities. An estimated 295,000 Kyrgyz migrant laborers work illegally in Russia, making them vulnerable to being trafficked.
The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government adopted a new comprehensive anti-trafficking law in January 2005 and focused its prevention efforts on protecting migrant laborers abroad. While the government's victim protection efforts remained lacking, it donated space for a trafficking shelter. The government should amend the Kyrgyz Criminal Code to bring its new anti-trafficking law into force and update its 2002 to 2005 Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
The Kyrgyz Government improved its law enforcement efforts with the May 2004 creation of a dedicated anti-trafficking enforcement unit, formed from a unit previously established in June 2003. Authorities produced 31 indictments and 17 convictions for trafficking-related offenses, including recruitment for sexual or labor exploitation and marriage to underage persons. Three of these convictions fell under the Kyrgyz Republic's 2003 amended criminal code criminalizing trafficking in persons; information on sentences in these cases was not available at the time of this report. The Kyrgyz anti-trafficking law prohibits all types of trafficking with sufficiently severe penalties. Over the last year, authorities shut down seven recruitment agencies and investigated eight more for illegally recruiting people to work abroad. Allegations continued of corruption and perceived tolerance of trafficking by some low-level officials, though the government reported no officials prosecuted for complicity in trafficking crimes. Kyrgyz law enforcement officials established contacts in 2004 with counterparts in South Korea and the U.A.E., and pursued joint trafficking investigations with Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
The Kyrgyz Government's efforts to assist and protect trafficking victims remained inadequate during the reporting period, though NGOs reported an increase in victim referrals by law enforcement officials. In October 2004, the government donated space for a trafficking shelter in Bishkek. In January 2005, the parliament adopted a new comprehensive anti-trafficking law giving immunity from prosecution to trafficking victims who cooperate with investigators. However, this provision and other new legal guarantees for victims require corresponding changes to the criminal code, which are pending in parliament, before they can take effect. Existing legislation provides for witness protection, but the government did not often use these measures due to resource constraints. During the reporting period, Kyrgyz diplomatic missions abroad assisted in the return of 71 Kyrgyz trafficking victims – 67 from the U.A.E. and four from Turkey.
In August 2004, the government joined IOM and an NGO to distribute anti-trafficking information to labor migrants. During the reporting period, the government opened new consulates in Russia and China to better protect Kyrgyz citizens' rights in each country. Kyrgyz officials met regularly with Kazakh local authorities and monitored Kyrgyz labor migrants' working and living conditions in Kazakhstan. The number of Kyrgyz citizens trafficked to Russia, Kazakhstan, and South Korea continued to decrease during the reporting period because of bilateral labor migration agreements signed with those countries in 2003 and 2004. The National Council to Combat Trafficking met regularly, and in April 2004 the government provided office space for and started paying the salaries of the Council's two-staff-member Secretariat.