U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - The Republic of Tajikistan
|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 - The Republic of Tajikistan, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7e423.html [accessed 22 September 2014]|
The Republic of Tajikistan (Tier 2)
Tajikistan is a country of origin for young women trafficked to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and countries of the Persian Gulf including the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iran, and Saudi Arabia for purposes of sexual exploitation. There are reports of labor trafficking to Kazakhstan as well.
The Government of Tajikistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Tajikistan is a post-conflict country and the poorest of the former Soviet states, with a per capita GDP estimated at $182 for 2002. Despite its limited resources, the government took some steps forward, most notably in its recognition of the problem and willingness to work alongside organizations with greater resources and expertise.
The President of Tajikistan appointed the Deputy Head of the President's Office on Women and Children as the government's anti-trafficking coordinator, and he commissioned an inter-ministerial committee to work jointly on improving the government's response. The government supported international organizations' and local NGOs' prevention campaigns, including distributing IOM brochures at railway stations and airports, and mandated official participation in anti-trafficking activities throughout the country. The government increased support for greater rural education and women's business associations through its overall Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Tajikistan's lower house of Parliament passed a specific anti-trafficking bill in spring of 2003, which would also amend the criminal code to harmonize with this legislation. Until final passage, existing related criminal laws are used to prosecute cases, for which the penalties were relatively light in comparison to other grave crimes. Four cases related to trafficking were prosecuted in the last year. In two cases, traffickers were convicted on charges of kidnapping, exploitation of prostitution, and document and immigration fraud, and each received five-year sentences. One of the convicted traffickers benefited from a previous presidential decree on amnesty for certain offenses, and was released after serving only a few weeks. Members of two other trafficking networks were arrested under similar charges. The national police academy trains cadets on existing laws in relation to trafficking. Corruption related to bribes and pay-offs is reported to exist among low-ranking officials, and there are no reports that the government is taking action.
The Government of Tajikistan has no protection or reintegration programs for victims or witnesses. The government cooperates with regional transit and destination countries to assist trafficked Tajik nationals in specific cases. In most cases, the government does not jail, fine, or detain victims, although on rare occasions victims are punished for prostitution offenses. The government lacks expertise in dealing with victims. The level of awareness of trafficking amongst police and social service providers is still low. The government does not provide trafficking-specific training for its few consuls, although it has engaged its consulate in Russia to oversee the condition of Tajik workers in Russia.