Country information: Kyrgyzstan (officially the Kyrgyz Republic) is a country located in Central Asia landlocked between Western and Central Tian Shan range and Northern Pamir Mountains.
Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International.
Number of sex workers: 6900 - 7100 (data of the research on quantity evaluation, 2013).
HIV among sex workers: 2,2%. (results of the Patrol Epidemiological Supervisory Control, 2013).
Legislation and sex work: Sex work is not legalized, but it is not either criminal, or administratice offence.
The Penalty Code punishes crimes aimed at:
- Human trafficking (Art. 124 PC KR): we understand the following as exploitation... coercion into prostitution or otehr forms of sexual activity
- Involvement into prostitution (Art. 260 PC KR)
- Organization or keeping disorderly houses for prostitution (Art. 261 PC KR)
- Contamination with HIV infection (Art. 117 PC KR)
- Contamination with a veneral disease (Art. 118 PC KR)
Administrative Code articles that are used against sex workers as ground for extortion and other illegal actions:
- Avoidance of examination by those who have STDs (Art. 87)
- Disorderly conduct (Art. 364)
- Disobeying a lawful order or request of the police officer or other persons carrying out duties on protection of public order (Art. 371)
- Living witout registration (Art. 384)
- Consumption of drugs or psychotropic substances, drinking alcohol and appearance in public places drunk, which humiliates human dignity (Art. 366)
Most commonly sex workers are illegally prosecuted during police raids, most of which are unauthorised, in other words, without written orders of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
SWAN, within the Regional Platform EECA, has developed a video and community guide on the community’s engagement in Global Fund supported processes on the national level.
Between 10 th -12 th November, 2016, in Budapest, Hungary, SWAN in collaboration with IWRAW Asia Pacific hosted a Regional Meeting to discuss follow-ups on Concluding Observations given by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) to 10 countries in the CEECA region - Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine.
Open Society Foundations have examined sex worker-led programs that protect health and rights and have published a detailed and thoughtful report. The report describes programs in 5 countries: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa. SWAN members from Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, All-Ukrainian Charitable Organization «LEGALIFE-UKRAINE» and Tais Plus, took part in the report.
A regional training on the SWIT (Sex Worker Implementation Tool) took place in Budapest on 21-25 June 2016. Teams from 7 countries attended the training: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia. Among them were female, male and transgender sex workers.
The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) and NSWP have hosted a training on sex worker advocacy and the implementation of rights-based HIV/STI programmes in Budapest, Hungary. The participants - from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Georgia - discussed the barriers sex workers face when advocating for their rights and the possible solutions to these barriers based on the SWIT tool.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day has been held annually every third Sunday in May since 1983. On May 17, 2015 around 1200 organizations in 115 countries gathered to commemorate those who died from AIDS and to raise awareness about HIV. The official theme of the campaign worldwide was ‘Supporting the future’ dedicated to calling on the communities around the world to unite and demand a sustainable response to AIDS.
Shah-Aiym Network held training-workshop on May 13-14, 2015 which was funded by Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan.
Prepared by the Open Society Foundations
"To Serve and Protect" is a short film proving that miracles can happen and that there can be "friendly policemen" and that partnership between law enforcement agencies and civil society is sometimes possible. The film depicts cases of Kenia and Kyrgyzstan. English language.
SWAN Steering Committee and Secretariat send their support to Bishkek Feminist Initiative (SQ) and would like to encourage the activists to stay strong and continue their important work in promoting women's rights among the people of Kyrgyzstan. The attacks against these activists should stop and perpetrators should be prosecuted!
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 17 December, in International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, Tais Plus and Shah-Aiym Network with support of AFEW and Robert Carr Fund organize Round Table "Legal regulation of sex work and law enforcement practices towards sex workers in Kyrgyzstan".
Tais Plus and the Sex-Worker Network “Shah-Aiym” is organizing an event to protest the violence against the sex workers with the financial support of the UNFPA and the Soros Foundation Kyrgyztan. The event is meant to commemorate two important dates: December 1st, International AIDS Day and December 17, International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers.
December 4, 2013 - Bishkek. NGO Tais Plus holds exhibition of crafts and art of sex workers' and their children to show that sex workers are people with talant and skills. It is an event to make a bridge between December 1, Internaitonal AIDS day and December 17, Internaitonal Day to End Violence against Sex Workers.
Tais-Plus and Shah-Aim
A meeting of the sex worker network Shah-Aim took place on June 7-8 at lake Issyk-Kul. The meeting was made possible due to financial support by the Robert Carr foundation. The participants of the meeting were representatives of sex worker community from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and their allies.
By Tais Plus Team
In October 2012 Ministry of Interior of Kyrgyzstan has initiated new draft bill to introduce an administrative offence for sex work. (also read background article here).
Tais Plus with numerous allies – organizations and individuals – implemented wide advocacy campaign to stop this initiative of Ministry of Interior. Finance support was provided by Urgent Action Fund. Bishkek Feminist Collective SQ has provided incredibly sounding promotion about all our efforts against new draft bill. Many people worldwide have learnt all our news in real time.
By Tais Plus
Today, December 20, 2012, a round table dedicated to the study "Respecting the Rights of Sex Workers in the Kyrgyz Republic" was held in Bishkek.
The study was conducted between May and August 2012 in six cities (Bishkek, Tokmok, Karakol, Osh, Jalalabad and Kyzyl-Kiya), which involved 590 sex workers and 33 employees of law enforcement agencies.
AKI Press - November 26, in the framework of "Stop the criminalization of sex workers in Kyrgyzstan" campaign public hearings took place in the City of Osh.
The director of public fund "Podruga" Nadezhda Sharonova reported that the main purpose of these public hearings is to attract attention of decision-makers, to the problem of illegal repression by the police against sex workers.
OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT OF KYRGYZSTAN REGARDING PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE ADMINSTRATIVE CODE TO PENALIZE SEX WORK
November 12, 2012
4 internaitonal organizations expressed their concern with the proposed law to introduce administrative penalty for sex work in Kyrgyzstan.
by Tais Plus team
Dear friends and colleagues,
Ministry of internal affairs (MIA) in Kyrgyzstan announced about new initiative to criminalize sex workers by administrative regulation. Currently sex work in our country is decriminalized. On 17th of October main informational portals posted this news.
Individuals and groups from the CEE/CA, as well as other regions,were invited to submit testimony about the impact of different laws and HIV. SWAN submitted a submission that tried to include experiences from all across the region. Many other SWAN groups individually submitted such as HOPS (Macedonia), Lega-Life (Ukraine) and HESED (Bulgaria).
In the end, Odyseus (Slovakia), SZEXE (Hungary), TAIS PLUS (Kyrgyzstan), Association for Assistance (Russia) and SWAN were accepted to present in front of the commissioners at a regional meeting in Moldova in May, 2011.
With the generous help of the Open Society Foundation, presenters from the various groups including Katerina Jiresova, Irina Maslova, Gulnara Kurmanova, Mariann Bodzsar, Stasa Plecas from Serbia who was representing SWAN and Aliya and Anna-Louise from the SWAN network met in Chisinau, Moldova to strategize.
The group decided that the strongest strategy was to brainstorm 4 key issues as they affected groups across the region and to present as a block. One person per issue and one person to summarize and spell out the recommended actions groups were calling on the Commission to endorse.
Read the statement in English
Read the statement in Russian