Historical/political snapshot (Wikipedia): Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous landlocked sovereign country in Central Asia. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east.
Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International
HIV/AIDS rates: as of 31.12.2014 there are 5242 people living with HIV in Tajikistan (UNAIDS)
HIV prevalence among sex workers: 3,5% of sex workers are HIV-positive (UNAIDS, 2014)
Legal situation around sex work: It is illegal to solicit to sell sex in a public place and to organise commercial sex in any place. Soliciting to sell sex in a public place is a misdemeanor crime. Brothel keeping and procuring are illegal.
In 2014 the Interior Minister instructed police to crackdown on sex workers and raid brothels and to medically test sex workers for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. Sex workers reported forced medical procedures, rape, sexual humiliation and police officers demanding sex in exchange for releasing women from detention.
In 2015 fines for sex work were doubled to 20-40 minimal wages. If sex worker is detained for the second time he can face up to 15 days in jail.
Buying sex is not illegal.
Services for sex workers: Civil organization APEIRON provides services for female and male sex workers in Afgan region of Tajikistan. NGO Buzurg and Etibor/Dignity are harm-reduction organizations, providing services for sex workers as well.
Sex workers' movement:
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.
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 Tajik Parliament wants to abolish sex work. They are introducing harsher measures under the Administrative Liability Code, hoping this will deter sex workers from working in the industry. According to the Tajik news source Ozodi, under new and harsher rules set out in the Administrative Liability Code, sex workers caught breaking the law for the first time will be required to pay double what they paid in the past. If the same sex worker breaks the law a second time, they will face up to 15 days in jail.
By Dignity team
Due to financial support of the NSWP and organizational support of initiative group "Dignity" was able to take part in the Sex Worker Freedom Festival, which took place in Kolkata, India, on June 21-27 2012.