Tajik Women Vulnerable to Traffickers

Women in Tajikistan are increasingly the victims of human trafficking, ending up in the sex trade in Gulf states. 

Sometimes their stories begin with an offer of legal work in Russia, but they end up being taken instead to Dubai or other locations and forced into prostitution.

Mahbuba Sharifova of the Mayram NGO in the southern Kulob region says there is an illegal industry in recruiting girls in Tajikistan, who are then sold on to other traffickers.

Few prosecutions have taken place so it is hard to estimate the number of women taken abroad and forced into the sex trade. However, the overall increase in women travelling abroad as migrant labour is likely to include a percentage who end up as sex slaves.

Tajikistan is a signatory to international anti-trafficking conventions and has national laws in place, but the police force has so far not invested resources in a specialised unit to target the illicit trade in people.

The audio programme, in Russian and Tajik, went out on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.