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Country information: Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Қазақстан, tr. Qazaqstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country in Central Asia, with a minor part west of the Ural River and thus in Europe.

Human rights 2015: An overview by Amnesty International.

Number of sex workers: 17.097 in 2014.

HIV/AIDS rates: The cumulative number of registered HIV positive persons by the end of 2013 was 19905. Currently, there are 14742 PLH, and 384 HIV positive children. Source.

HIV rates among sex workers: 1.5% - 2011

Legal situation around sex work: The law does not prohibit sex work. From January 1, 2015 on there is an administrative article 449 "Soliciting in public places" in Kazakhstan, which also regulates sex workers who solicit potential clients. 

There is no law on sex workers' client punishment.

The Penalty Code punishes* the following crimes:

  • coercion into prostitution: a fine up to 3000 montly minimum calculation index or corrective labor in the same equivalent, or custodial restraint for up to 3 years, or imprisonment for the same period with asset forfeiture (Art. 308);
  • coercion of underaged into prostitution: imprisonment for 3 to 5 years with asset forfeiture (Art. 134);
  • organization or management of a disorderly house for prostitution, and pandering: imprisonment for up to 5 years with asset forfeiture (Art. 309). Here both rented flats and hotel rooms are regulated;
  • human trade (Art. 128).

There is a 2013 counter-human trafficking law that, in particular, prohibits providing premises purposefully for prostitution or pandering, as this is punishable by a fine.

* If there are aggravating circumstances - violence, threat, if the crime is executed by a group that agreed to do the crime beforehand, multiple times, or by a criminal group - more severe punishment of longer imprisonment. 

Services in the country: Medical, legal, advocacy, social, preventive services. In some cities these services are not free of charge. Tfew NGOs whree sex workers are teh priority service provision group. The Global Fund is leaving the country, and it has stayed only in 5 regions, where it is conducting a harm reduction program among sex workers, drug users, and people living wit hHIV. Other NGOs provide services for sex workers and LGBT community only withing a framework of international grants.

Sex workers movement is absent. 

Latest news

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

Dear all:

To mark December 17, the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, the Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia is releasing its new report, Arrest the Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Sex Workers in 11 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The report is based on interviews with more than 200 male, female and transgender sex workers between 2007 and 2009 and chillingly documents widespread violence and discrimination against them, particularly by state actors.

According to Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights Division:

Arrest the Violence is the first piece of research done under the leadership of sex workers to document human rights violations they face across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Sex workers throughout the region report that they face verbal and physical abuse, including beatings, kidnapping, and sexual violence, by police and private citizens. Sex workers also report that police confiscated condoms as “evidence” of sex work, and subjected them to mandatory HIV testing.
These are not isolated incidents. The physical, sexual, and verbal violations of sex workers’ rights are part of a pattern of abuse by police and in the community that is documented throughout the region.
It is my sincere hope that this report will serve as a catalyst to awaken the broader human rights community to the importance of documenting and denouncing human rights abuses against sex workers, and working with sex workers to end these abuses.

To access the report, please follow the links below.
Questions or comments may be directed to SWAN@TASZ.HU.

Aliya Rakhmetova
Coordinator Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN)


By Guest on Sep 28th, 2009

“People don’t go into the hospitals and beat up the doctors for doing their job !”

This interview with Victoriya, a sex worker from Kazakhstan from June 2008, provides a unique perspective on the local sex work situation. She touches on sex workers’ relationship wit the police, the changing nature of the profession and the little-discussed phenomena of heterosexual male sex workers selling sex to women. While the interview is frank and honest, she seems optimistic and has some words of encouragement for her fellow sex workers.

By Guest on Sep 28th, 2009

“My message to all the sex workers who read SWAN News is: It doesn’t matter what kind of sex you are having, the most important is for it to be safe !”

By Aliya on Jun 18th, 2009

The organization of physically challenged citizens petitions Kazakh government to legalize prostitution and to introduce a section in the state budget that would cover sexual services for physically challenged people. Read more in Russian.

By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

In the framework of December 17 campaign, Social Bureau Kovcheg, SWAN member from Kazakhstan, organized a human rights seminar for sex workers in Taldikorgan. Participating were 20 sex workers.

By Aliya on Jan 22nd, 2009

Seminars on sex work and human rights for media reporters were organized in November by SWAN member organizations in Sankt Petersburg, Irkutsk and Chelyabinsk in Russia, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and Taldikorgan in Kazakhstan.

By Aliya on Jul 18th, 2008


As told one national newspaper “Lietuvos rytas” journalist after his journey in Kazakhstan, in the country, where oil, gas and other treasures of Mendeleyev table attract foreigner businessmen, and they, on the other hand, attract the prostitutes, which come here from province, Russia, Kyrgyzstan etc. On the day time you can’t see her – they appear in nighttimes. 
By olga on Aug 1st, 2006

Liter Daily, Kazakhstan:

Almaty, 28 September, 2006 -- The law enforcement units named their raid “on-the-fly prophylaxis activity PIMP”. It was launched to unveil crimes connected to prostitution and people-trafficking. For six full days the operation was in full swing on the notorious “red light streets” – Saina Str. and Seifullina Str. in Almaty. Police crashed on hotels, saunas and rented apartments. Seven pimps and more than 400 sex workers were arrested.

By olga on Aug 1st, 2006

-A short review-

By Vera Sergunina, Women’s Rights Center, SWAN Member from Kazakhstan

Currently, provision of sex services (prostitution) is not illegal in Kazakhstan, but at the same time there is no official definition of the status of commercial sex workers and no legal regulations of this sphere. The phenomenon exists, and the government admits this fact, but instead of an adequate recognition of commercial sex work and its legalization with all the consequences (taxation, human rights protection, etc.) the state continues to refer to it as an “antisocial behavior”. In spite of the fact that sex work is not prosecuted, the commercial sex workers (both females and males) are outlawed, which justifies the violation of their rights by customers, people in control of their business, as well as the police officers.

By olga on Aug 1st, 2006

By Daniyar Yenikeev, Public Committee for Legalization of Prostitution

www.zonakz.net, 21 August, 2006 -- The current bad working conditions of female sex workers require the state interference and an initiative to introduce regulatory mechanisms in this business. Sex workers need state’s help as their living conditions are not simply hard, but often monstrous and unbearable. We have to realize the fact that prostitution exists in modern society, and hence, our attitude toward the representatives of this ancient profession should be more liberal and loyal. Whether we want it or not, prostitution will always exist…. Our civic duty is to protect those women who cannot find the occupation in other spheres of life… Kazakh society is ready for the legalization of prostitution. This will play a positive role in the creation of a constitutional state.

By olga on Aug 1st, 2006

Nomad, KZ, 23 August, 2006 -- “I am absolutely against this absurd idea”, Dos Kushim, the chairman of public association “Ult Tagdyry” comments on the initiative to legalize prostitution in Kazakhstan. “For Central Asian states it is historically unacceptable. I will agree with the claim that this evil is difficult to get rid of, practically it is impossible. You would need decades to do it. Hence, already today we have to work on improving moral values, culture, respect to the origins and traditions in our future generations. But to imitate the West only because it is so to say “more civilized”, that us is simply stupid. They might be developed, but not more cultured. Every nation has its rules, traditions and mentality. We ought to value our background. Otherwise we will lose our culture. We have our own way and we should not follow the others and make the same mistakes.”

Integral text (in Russian) available on: http://www.nomad.su/?a=8-200608230404