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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                          

Republic of Tajikistan

Tajikistan has one of the lowest per capita GDPs among the 15 former Soviet republics. Because of a lack of employment opportunities in Tajikistan, nearly half of the labor force works abroad, primarily in Russia, supporting families in Tajikistan through remittances. The exact number of labor migrants is unknown, but estimated at around 1 million. Less than 7% of the land area is arable. Cotton is the most important crop, but this sector is burdened with debt and obsolete infrastructure. Mineral resources include silver, gold, uranium, and tungsten.


Industry consists only of a large aluminum plant, hydropower facilities, and small obsolete factories mostly in light industry and food processing.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Tajikistan.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

International Organization for Migration
37 221 03 02
Country code: 992-



Woman jailed for forcing child into sex trade

Independent Online (IOL) News, Dushanbe, 5 November 2004

[accessed 28 December 2010]

Last week a non-governmental organisation said there was a growing trend in the abduction and sale of Tajik boys for sexual exploitation abroad.  The Modar organisation said groups in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries were prepared to pay as much as $70 000 for a Tajik boy between the ages of 10 and 12.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Regional Overview: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Commonwealth of Independent States [PDF]

ECPAT International, November 2014

[accessed 8 September 2020]

Maps sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT), online child sexual exploitation (OCSE), trafficking of children for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, and child early and forced marriage (CEFM). Topics include: domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, gender discrimination, corruption, Roma children.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 8 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. In January the government amended its criminal code to conform with international law; Article 167 now prohibits the buying and selling of children and outlines a provision that requires an exploitation act to qualify as human trafficking. The minimum age of consensual sex is 16 years. According to an NGO working with victims of domestic violence, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking, there were several cases in which family members or third parties forced children into prostitution in nightclubs and in private homes.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 6 October 2000

[accessed 28 December 2010]

[50] The Committee is concerned at the increase in the prostitution and trafficking of children and women and the absence of an effective, comprehensive and integrated approach to prevent and combat these phenomena. The Committee is also concerned at the insufficient data and awareness of the phenomena of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Tajikistan.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-ninth session, 6 January 2003$FILE/G0310090.doc

[accessed 28 July 2011]

[71] The sale and trafficking of children are criminal offences, and criminal proceedings were instituted against three individuals in 2002.  Criminal liability is incurred by individuals over the age of 18 for the involvement of juveniles in the performance of anti-social actions, particularly prostitution or other acts of a sexual nature, or acts relating to the preparation of pornographic materials.  Criminal charges were brought against two individuals for their involvement in prostitution in 2002.  The children involved do not incur criminal liability, and a number of regulations cover the procedure for pre-trial investigations in cases involving children, including the mandatory presence of an educational specialist when witnesses under 14 are being questioned, and discretionary presence when the children are between 14 and 16.

Human Rights Overview - Tajikistan

Human Rights Watch, Essential Background: Overview of human rights issues in Tajikistan, 31 December 2004

[accessed 28 July 2011]

HUMAN TRAFFICKING - Human trafficking is a significant problem in Tajikistan. According to the International Organization for Migration, Tajikistan is a major country of origin for trafficked women and children. Tajik authorities have undertaken some positive steps to curb trafficking, including the creation of new anti-trafficking department in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Sexual Exploitation of Minors: Problems and Solutions

PeaceWomen: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Institute for War & Peace Reporting IWPR, Dushanbe, January 24, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 28 July 2011]

The lack of law enforcement was identified as a major problem in the fight against child prostitution by journalists, Central Asian officials and NGOs at a January 24 round table discussion on IWPR’s “Lost Children” report. Khudoynazar Asoev, the head of the Tajik interior ministry’s press centre, told delegates, “We have specific data about organized crime related to sexual exploitation of minors but because our legislation is incomplete we are unable to fight this type of crime.”

Lost Children of Central Asia - Underage Prostitution in Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan [DOC]

Institute for War & Peace Reporting IWPR special investigation, January 28, 2004 -- by Ulugbek Babakulov, Natalia Domagalskaya, Elena Lyanskaya, Alla Pyatibratova, Roman Sadanov, Asel Sagynbaeva, Leila Saralaeva, and Nargis Zokirova

[accessed 28 July 2011]

In Tajikistan –the poorest country in a poor region – prostitution again takes both visible and hidden forms. In the capital Dushanbe, underage girls ply their trade at the bustling city markets, where ready cash is always changing hands. A city police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told IWPR how market traders pay with goods worth five or six somoni – about two dollars – for sex with the girls. “It suits them to use underage prostitutes, since they get the least trouble with them. Usually they do the business in public toilets, on building sites or in abandoned buildings,” said the police officer.




Human Rights Reports » 2004 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 28, 2005

[accessed 5 April 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - On November 4, 2004, a Dushanbe court sentenced a woman to 14 years imprisonment after convicting her of trafficking her adopted daughter. It was the country's first verdict under its new anti trafficking law. Also in November, authorities began an investigation into allegations made by a credible local humanitarian and anti-trafficking NGO that there may be a trend of young boys being abducted or sold for sexual exploitation to the Gulf States, Afghanistan, and South Asia. In May, the Government created a special division within the MOI for combating kidnapping, trafficking in persons, and racketeering. The division reported that there were at least 12 criminal rings in the country involved in trafficking young girls to Gulf countries.

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