UNICEF-supported report "Child Trafficking in Kyrgyzstan" reveals gap in reliable data
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 4 July 2008 - Reliable information on the extent of human trafficking, and particularly on child trafficking, does not exist in Kyrgyzstan, concluded a UNICEF-supported report “Child Trafficking in Kyrgyzstan”.
The report was recently launched in partnership with the El Pikir Centre for Study of Public Opinion. The organization carried out series of field research based on questionnaire developed by UNICEF.
There are only a few reports that address trafficking in the region. However, these reports suggest that child trafficking occurs frequently in Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan.
Among them, analysis conducted by Save the Children estimate that 200,000 people from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, majority of them women and young girls, are sold every year. One third of the victims are young women under 25 years of age, while 10-15 per cent are girls under 18 years of age.
Other figures, such as the ones released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Central Asia reveals that around 4,000 Kyrgyz women and girls are sold abroad every year, 10 per cent of whom are under 18.
”Despite this, reliable evidence supporting this figure, which was reached for 1999, does not exist,” noted the “Child Trafficking in Kyrgyzstan” report.
Official statistics in Kyrgyzstan do not give information on human trafficking, but rather on crimes, directly or indirectly committed involving abduction, exploitation and illegal crossing of borders.
In Turkey, it is believed that in Istanbul alone, there are about 200 to 250 Kyrgyz girls working in the sex industry. According the report, there is no evidence as to whether these girls were trafficked.
Figures from the Ministry of Internal Affairs shows that on 1 November 2004 the law enforcement agencies opened 50 criminal cases connected with human trafficking. The majority victims of these cases were all young women and girls younger than 18. Many of them were sold to Russian or Kazakhstan for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Although the Kyrgyz Government is paying more attention to the issue of human trafficking, so far there haven’t been any laud public sentences or court cases in this crucial area.
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