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Kyrgyzstan: I have an urge to stand up and run away in shame..

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.

The organizers of this round table are the Network of Sex Workers “Shah-Ayim” and Independent Human Rights Group, with the support of the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan, on the initiative and with the participation of the Office of the Ombudsman.

The round table was attended by 25 people - representatives of human rights organizations (Voice of Freedom) and international organizations (AFEW, UNFPA), the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Association of "AIDS", the Ministry of Interior and representatives of sex workers community in Kyrgyzstan.

Dinara Sayakova and Ulugbek Azimov (Independent Human Rights Group) presented the results of the study (see press release).

This round table is truly unique, because sex workers talked openly about the results of the study which were a clear example of what is happening to them every day. This is the first study of this magnitude, which collected and analyzed information on violations of the rights of sex workers. Moreover, the representative of MIA also openly admitted that the presented problems do exist, that they are not far-fetched and contrived. "What can I say. Want to get up and run away in shame, "- said the representative of the Ministry of Interior after sex workers one by one told about their own cases.

In the near future a report on the results of the study will be published.