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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country of which 11% consists of intensely cultivated, irrigated river valleys. More than 60% of its population lives in densely populated rural communities. Uzbekistan is now the world's second-largest cotton exporter and fifth largest producer; it relies heavily on cotton production as the major source of export earnings and has come under increasing international criticism for the use of child labor in its annual cotton harvest.


A sharp increase in the inequality of income distribution has hurt the lower ranks of society since independence.  [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 Uzbekistan.  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
7 12 54 77
Country code: 998 –



Lost Children of Central Asia [DOC]

Institute for War and Peace Reporting, January 28, 2004

[accessed 8 August 2011]

VULNERABLE GROUPS - Information on the situation in Uzbekistan is harder to come by, since officials are reluctant to show up their country in a bad light. Children from orphanages are at high risk of going into prostitution. With few opportunities they become easy prey for pimps. According to Viktoria Ashirova of Ayol, a resource centre for women and family issues, in Uzbekistan “it is very easy to recruit, enslave and sell an orphan. No relatives will ever look for them. No one will care”.

CONCLUSION - The outlook for this generation of vulnerable children – and future ones, too – seems bleak. Even as economies start recovering, growing inequalities may simply furnish more men in the cities with the means to buy their services, while leaving the rural communities from which they come further behind.   The sex trade has a firm grip on its victims, who cannot easily escape because there are so few opportunities for them. With HIV/AIDs on the increase in Central Asia, their lives will be more at risk than ever.   More efficient law enforcement, and a less corrupt police force would go a long way towards making life tougher for the pimps and traffickers. Kazakstan has already claimed some success in stemming the trade, but its neighbours appear to be losing the battle for the moment.


*** ARCHIVES ***

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

xxxxxxxxxx, ECPAT International, November 2014

[accessed 9 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 9 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law seeks to protect children from “all forms of exploitation.” Conviction of involving a child in prostitution is punishable by a fine of 25 to 50 times the minimum monthly salary and imprisonment for up to five years.

The minimum age for consensual sex is 16. The punishment for conviction for statutory rape is 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment. Conviction for the production, exhibition, and distribution of child pornography (involving persons younger than 21) is punishable by a fine or by imprisonment for up to three years.

2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2019

[accessed 9 September 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 1189]

Traffickers exploit Uzbek children in sex trafficking transnationally, and also internally in brothels, clubs, and private residences. Children in institutions are vulnerable to sex trafficking. (18) During the reporting period, the government identified 14 children who had been victimized in sex trafficking. (6)

Concluding Observations Of The Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 12 October 2001

[accessed 9 March 2011]

[67] The Committee is concerned at the insufficient data and awareness concerning the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of children in Uzbekistan.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – UZBEKISTAN – Many government officials still consider CSEC to be the family’s responsibility and therefore prefer not to intervene. Judicial bodies try to fight the problem but are reluctant to report information to the broader public. At the same time, victims of trafficking, especially children, are reluctant to ask for official help because they are scared of the consequences. Some of them are afraid of being prosecuted themselves, for example young girls/children who may be accused of prostitution. According to Uzbek law, prostitutes themselves are considered to be the main criminals. Furthermore, children who are sexually abused or engaged in prostitution are confronted by harsh public condemnation.

Child Rights - The Best Possible Start in Life

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF

[accessed 8 August 2011]

[accessed 17 November 2016]

ACTION - UNICEF is working with the government on a range of activities to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and improve Child Rights. The first report on the CRC implementation was submitted in 2002. The Secretariat developed a National Plan of Action for implementation of the recommendations provided by the child rights committee and an NGO coalition was formed in accordance with the recommendations of the CRC Committee to promote and strengthen implementation of the CRC. Other initiatives have included:

• Policies to counter child prostitution, child pornography and assault on children.

ECPAT: Agenda for Action Report - 2002 [DOC]

ECPAT International

[accessed 8 August 2011]


RECOVERY AND INTEGRATION - What social, medical, educational and therapeutic programs exist to support child victims of CSE?

In Uzbekistan, many children that have been sexually exploited are reluctant to tell others, as they fear revenge from their employers and also the indifference of state officials. According to the Uzbek law, young girls who have been forced into prostitution can themselves be prosecuted. Furthermore public condemnation of victims hinders any serious efforts toward recovery and reintegration. - Legal Aid Society, Uzbekistan




The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 16 January 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - UNICEF reports that approximately 34,500 children are living and working on the streets in Uzbekistan and are vulnerable to hazards associated with such an environment. Children are engaged in prostitution in Uzbekistan. Young women and possibly adolescent girls are reportedly trafficked to destinations in the Persian Gulf, Asia, and Europe for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.

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]

CHILDREN - There were reports that girls were trafficked from the country for the purpose of sexual exploitation and that girls were engaged in forced prostitution.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The country was primarily a source for the trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation and men for labor. There were no reliable statistics on the extent of the problem, although NGOs reported labor trafficking was much more prevalent than trafficking for sexual exploitation, and was likely rising due to poor economic conditions.

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