TURKMENISTAN (Tier 2 Watch List) [Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]
Turkmenistan is a source country for women trafficked primarily to Turkey but reportedly also to the UAE, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women are trafficked to Turkey for the purpose of domestic servitude and forced labor, specifically in textile sweatshops.
The Government of Turkmenistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government did not publicly acknowledge trafficking as a problem, undertake significant efforts to raise awareness, or assist victims; therefore, Turkmenistan is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The government did investigate a small number of trafficking cases during the reporting period. While the government did make significant efforts by adopting the “Law on the Battle against Trafficking in Persons” in December 2007, it did not implement the law during the reporting period. The law identifies responsible ministries within the government to combat trafficking and requires authorities to develop measures to prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and assist victims. The government began the process of updating the criminal code to include penalties for trafficking offenses defined as such in the 2007 trafficking law. All forms of trafficking currently are prohibited under existing disparate statutes.
Recommendations for Turkmenistan: Implement the 2007 Law on the Battle Against Trafficking in Persons by completing revisions to the national criminal code to prescribe penalties for both sex and labor trafficking as defined in the 2007 Law on the Battle Against Trafficking in Persons; vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders; investigate individual instances of government officials complicit in the facilitation of trafficking, provide victim identification, victim referral, and victim sensitivity training for border guards and police; provide financial assistance to anti-trafficking organizations assisting victims; continue to expand and improve systematic victim identification and referral procedures; establish safeguards and training procedures to ensure victims are not punished for acts committed as a direct result of trafficking, such as migration violations; and conduct a trafficking awareness campaign to inform the general public about the dangers of trafficking.