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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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


Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and sizeable gas and oil resources. One-half of its irrigated land is planted in cotton; formerly it was the world's 10th-largest producer. Poor harvests in recent years have led to an almost 50% decline in cotton exports. With an authoritarian ex-Communist regime in power and a tribally based social structure, Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its inefficient economy.

Since his election, President Berdimuhamedow has sought to improve the health and education systems, unified the country's dual currency exchange rate, ordered the


redenomination of the manat, reduced state subsidies for gasoline, increased Internet access both in schools and Internet cafes, ordered an independent audit of Turkmenistan's gas resources, and created a special tourism zone on the Caspian Sea. Although foreign investment is encouraged, numerous bureaucratic obstacles from the Nyyzow-era remain.  [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 Turkmenistan.  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
12 42 08 26
Country code: 993-



Prostitution on the rise

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Ankara, 5 September 2005

[accessed 13 March 2015]

There is an unprecedented situation in Turkmenistan when [some] husbands, fathers and brothers push their wives, daughters and sisters into illegal ways, including prostitution, because they don't have a job and means to get by,

Even more disturbing, the report alleged that parents had taken to selling their daughters and setting up brothels in their homes in this otherwise traditional society.


*** 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 legal age of consent is 16. The law forbids the production of pornographic materials or objects for distribution, as well as the advertisement or trade in text, movies or videos, graphics, or other objects of a pornographic nature, including those involving children.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

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

[accessed 2 August 2011]

[73] Child prostitution is not considered to be a serious problem in the country and no information is available about the existence of sale and trafficking of children and child pornography.  UNICEF reported a good working relationship with the Inspectorates for Juvenile Affairs, the main actors in the child system in Turkmenistan, and is currently completing a study on children in childcare institutions, including street children who are brought to the children’s remand centre.

The Protection Project - Turkmenistan [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that Central Asia “is becoming the most important geographical source of trafficking in women in Asia.” Trafficking in young women and girls for commercial sexual exploitation is the most common form of trafficking in the region. Children are also increasingly becoming the victims of trafficking and are engaged in prostitution in Central Asia.

ECPAT:  Turkmenistan

ECPAT International


[Last access date unavailable]

CSEC OVERVIEW - Many people became drug addicts and drug dealers. According to evaluation data, 50-60% of Turkmen youth are addicted to drugs. The drug trafficking network in the country is very developed. Opium and heroin are sold everywhere openly. Turkmenistan represents the main route for drug trafficking, through which 80 to 120 tons of narcotics are annually transported mainly from Afghanistan, and the largest part is heroin. Prostitution, servitude, child trafficking have reached unprecedented scale.

CHILD PROSTITUTION - The code prohibits sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16. Punishment for the offence is imprisonment for 2 to 5 years. The penalty may increase to imprisonment for 8 years if the acts are committed in a perverted form.




Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2020]

WOMEN – Prostitution is illegal, but remained a growing problem throughout the country that the authorities did not counter effectively.

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