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2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kyrgyz Republic

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 19 June 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kyrgyz Republic, 19 June 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30cb746.html [accessed 1 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (Tier 2)

The Kyrgyz Republic (or Kyrgyzstan) is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and for women subjected to forced prostitution. Kyrgyz men, women, and children are subjected to bonded labor in China and to conditions of forced labor in Russia and Kazakhstan, and to a lesser extent the Czech Republic, Turkey, and within the country, specifically in the agricultural, forestry, construction, and textile industries, and in domestic servitude and forced child care. Kyrgyz victims were recently identified for the first time in Angola and the United States. Women from the Kyrgyz Republic are subjected to forced prostitution in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kazakhstan, China, South Korea, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, Germany, and Syria. Some men and women from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan transit the Kyrgyz Republic as they migrate to Russia, the UAE, and Turkey, where they are subsequently subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Kyrgyz boys and girls are subjected to forced prostitution within the country. An NGO study estimated that over 60,000 Kyrgyz citizens are victims of trafficking, both within the country and abroad.

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 continued to prosecute trafficking cases and convict offenders, and identified more victims than in the previous year. Despite continued reports of corruption, however, the government did not investigate or prosecute any officials suspected of complicity in human trafficking.

Recommendations for the Kyrgyz Republic: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, ensuring that a majority of those convicted of trafficking offenses serve time in prison; vigorously investigate and prosecute government officials suspected of being complicit in trafficking and convict and punish complicit government officials; continue trafficking sensitivity and awareness training for police, prosecutors, and judges; and work to ensure that identified victims of trafficking are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prosecution

The Kyrgyz government demonstrated some progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. In November 2011, the government amended its 2005 Law on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Persons, which criminalizes both sex and labor trafficking, to define human trafficking more broadly and clearly to include the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. The law also covers a non-trafficking offense – child adoption for commercial purposes. Through this amendment, the government also raised the minimum penalty for trafficking in persons to five years' imprisonment from three; the maximum is 20 years. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with prescribed penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2011, the government reported conducting seven trafficking investigations, compared with 11 trafficking investigations in 2010. The government prosecuted 13 suspected traffickers in six cases and convicted nine traffickers in three cases in 2011, compared with eight suspected traffickers prosecuted and three convicted in 2010. The government did not report information about the punishments of the convicted traffickers. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, along with several Kyrgyz academic institutions, conducted some training courses and seminars on fighting human trafficking. NGOs contended that some low-level law enforcement officials are complicit in human trafficking and accept bribes from traffickers; other low-level police failed to investigate potential trafficking offenses due to a lack of awareness. The government reported no efforts to investigate or prosecute any government officials suspected of being complicit in trafficking or convict or punish any complicit officials.

Protection

The Kyrgyz government sustained limited efforts to assist victims during the reporting period. The government did not have formal written procedures to guide officials in proactive identification of trafficking victims among high-risk persons with whom they came into contact. The government identified 38 victims and referred them to protective services in 2011, compared with 15 victims identified in 2010. Thirteen of these 38 victims were identified by Kyrgyz consular officials in destination countries. NGOs identified and assisted 164 victims in 2011. Of these 202 total victims, approximately 80 percent were victims of labor trafficking and 20 percent victims of sex trafficking. Fifteen percent of the 202 victims were trafficked within the country. Although the government did not provide funding to any organization that provided victim assistance in 2011, it continued to provide in-kind assistance to anti-trafficking NGOs, including facilities for three NGO-run shelters for victims of trafficking. Victims were able to leave the shelters freely. There was no information on whether the government encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; no victims assisted law enforcement during the reporting period. During the reporting period, identified victims may have been penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as prostitution offenses.

Prevention

The Kyrgyz government sustained limited progress in trafficking prevention efforts. Government officials continued to provide Kyrgyz migrants with informational fliers and other trafficking awareness materials prepared by IOM and funded by a foreign government. The government continued to provide in-kind assistance to an NGO-run labor migration hotline which provided legal advice and assistance to potential victims of trafficking. The Ministry of Education continued to provide anti-trafficking awareness training to students as part of a program to educate students about potential dangers when working abroad. Building on its existing 2008-2011 national anti-trafficking action plan, the Kyrgyz government drafted a plan for 2011-2015 with the contribution of NGOs. The government continued its program to digitize passport records and expanded the program to include the digitization of birth records. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

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