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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                            


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 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 aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  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.

*** ARCHIVES ***

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 - The government provided nine years of basic education for girls and boys. Primary and secondary education was free and compulsory. The government stated approximately 95 percent of children between the ages of 7 and 16 attended school on a regular basis; however, a 2003 UN Development Program report listed school attendance at 81 percent. Most children completed school and some went on to university and vocational schools. Although children no longer worked in the cotton fields in a number of agricultural areas, schools were disrupted because teachers were called to pick cotton.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] There are laws and policies to protect children from exploitation in the workplace but they were not implemented effectively. The minimum age for employment of children is 16 years; in a few heavy industries, it is 18 years. The law prohibits children between the ages of 16 and 18 years from working more than 6 hours per day (the normal workday was 8 hours). A 15‑year-old child may work 4 to 6 hours per day with parental and trade union permission, although such permission was rarely granted. Child labor laws were not effectively enforced in practice, although implementation appeared to have improved during the year.

UNICEF Welcomes New Turkmen Law

Iran Daily, Feb 08, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 2 August 2011]

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has welcomed a decision by the Turkmen parliament to pass legislation banning child labor and guaranteeing freedom from economic exploitation as a right of children, IRIN reported.

ECPAT:  Turkmenistan

ECPAT International


[Last access date unavailable]

CSEC OVERVIEW - "Street children’ are a rather new phenomenon in Turkmenistan. The vast majority of street/working children have a place to live and have parents or close relatives. Most of them return to their homes at night. They spend their days on the street begging, vending, washing cars or helping at the markets. Usually the State responds to this type of behavior by placing the children in Children’s Remand Centers, also called Centers for the Temporary Isolation, Adaptation and Rehabilitation of Children.

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