U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Tajikistan

Tajikistan (Tier 2)

Tajikistan is a source country for women trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; men are trafficked to Russia for labor exploitation, primarily in the construction and agricultural industries. Tajik victims are often trafficked through Kyrgyzstan before reaching their final destination. Boys and girls are trafficked internally for the purpose of forced labor, including begging.

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. The government enacted its national action plan in 2006 and improved cooperation with NGOs. However, the government failed to amend its current trafficking legislation to define trafficking and failed to demonstrate vigorous efforts to combat government complicity in trafficking; government corruption remained a significant problem and an obstacle to effective anti-trafficking efforts. The Government of Tajikistan should: vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence government officials who participate in or facilitate trafficking in persons; amend its criminal code to define trafficking; and improve its public awareness efforts.


Tajikistan demonstrated mixed law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Article 130.1 of the criminal code prohibits both sexual exploitation and forced labor. Penalties prescribed under Article 130.1 range from 5 to 20 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent but not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2006, authorities conducted 34 trafficking investigations, down from 81 conducted in 2005. The government prosecuted 34 trafficking cases, down from 57 cases prosecuted in 2005. Convictions were obtained against 52 traffickers in 2006, a significant increase from 28 convictions obtained in 2005. The government did not provide sentencing data for convicted traffickers. Trafficking-related government corruption remained a problem. Although some government officials assisted traffickers by providing false passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates, the government provided no information on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of government officials implicated in trafficking corruption. The government's special Trafficking in Persons and Organized Crime Unit investigated trafficking cases, and the government worked with some foreign governments on trafficking investigations.


The government demonstrated limited progress in its victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. The Ministries of Health and Labor and Social Protection provided some health and social services to victims assisted in foreign-funded shelters. The Ministry of Interior also provided security and protection for the shelter. The government does not have a formal victim referral mechanism. There was no special training for staff in Tajikistan's embassies and consulates abroad to identify and assist with the repatriation of Tajik victims. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with foreign governments to repatriate 62 Tajik victims in 2006; the government paid all repatriation costs for at least 12 of these victims. The adoption of the national action plan improved communication with anti-trafficking NGOs, to which the government provided some in-kind support such as office space and utilities. Victims were encouraged to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and police made a point to interview victims at the trafficking shelter rather than at the police station. Some identified trafficking victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.


The government sustained some trafficking awareness efforts during the reporting period. The government helped fund some NGO- and IOM-produced public awareness campaigns, which included radio advertisements, film screenings, press briefings, the publication of brochures, and training of students and government officials. The government stationed border guards at Dushanbe's airports and along border checkpoints and trained them to identify potential traffickers and victims.


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