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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 ekaterina on Apr 26th, 2018

SWAN is proud to present its Annual Reports for the years 2016 and 2017. The Annual Reports highlight the activities and achievements of SWAN in 2016 and 2017. These activities include capacity building and community mobilization activities, advocacy tools and opportunities, regional projects and initiatives as well as a glimpse in SWAN major internal processes.

By ekaterina on Dec 22nd, 2017

A Memorandum to create an EECA Regional Communities Consortium has been signed on December 20, 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The goal of the Consortium is to unite the efforts of key populations networks of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) in developing a long-term multi-country program on increasing efficiency and sustainability of national HIV strategies in the region.

By ekaterina on Dec 17th, 2017

17 December 2017 marks the 14th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. For fourteen years, sex workers around the world have used this day to highlight the need for action to end violence against sex workers. The issues faced by sex workers often vary from region to region, due to different laws, social and cultural contexts, but one common issue faced by all sex workers is their vulnerability to and experience of violence.

By ekaterina on Dec 7th, 2017

Every year on 1st of December the world marks World AIDS Day. This year, SWAN together with ICRSE issued a joint statement and SWAN members marked the day with various different events.

By ekaterina on Nov 30th, 2017

To mark World AIDS Day 2017, SWAN and ICRSE, two regional networks for sex workers’ rights in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia join individuals, organisations and other networks in uniting in the fight against HIV globally, and remembering those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Together, SWAN and ICRSE are publishing this joint statement to continue to highlight the key issues sex workers face in relation to health and HIV. We invite sex workers and allies in our region to join us in marking #WorldAIDSDay by including these HASHTAGS on social media and help us raise awareness of the importance of sex workers’ rights in the fight to end HIV and ensuring nobody is left behind!

By ekaterina on Jun 2nd, 2017

Today, on 2nd of June 2017, we mark The International Sex Workers’ Day. On this day in 1975 French sex workers occupied the Saint-Nizier church in Lyon for 8 days in a desperate attempt to call attention to their worsened working conditions. On 10th June at 5 o'clock the Church was brutally raided and cleared by police forces.

By ekaterina on Mar 19th, 2017

SWAN members marked the International Sex Workers’ Rights Day on 3rd of March and the International Women's’ Day on 8 of March.

By ekaterina on Mar 15th, 2017

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.

By ekaterina on Dec 6th, 2016

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.

By ekaterina on Sep 10th, 2016

A research project on human rights abuses experienced by sex workers was conducted by “Amelia” NGO and released on the 5 of November, 2015. The project was financially supported by SWAN and the Robert Carr Foundation.

By ekaterina on Jul 14th, 2016

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.

By ekaterina on Dec 22nd, 2015

On December 17 SWAN members held different local actions to raise the awareness and commemorate International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

By ekaterina on Dec 11th, 2015

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.

By maria on Dec 9th, 2015

An interview by Natalia Zholnerova to "Svoboda Slova" Kazakh newspaper about "Ameliya" and HIV/AIDS.

By maria on Dec 5th, 2015

On December 1, 2015 a number of SWAN members joined the commemoration of the World AIDS Day.

By admin on Mar 7th, 2011

July 18-23, Vienna, Austria – This year sex workers and allies from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia had a chance to talk about barriers and issues that sex workers face in their countries, to show what groups and organizations have achieved in addressing the pandemics and violations in their region. The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) was represented by 11 activists from Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia and Montenegro, a team of young and energetic volunteers from Odyseus, Slovakia and a performance group from Bliss without Risk, Czech Republic.

By Aliya on Apr 12th, 2010

Sex workers’ organizations across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia used the opportunity of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to advocate SW’s rights. Below is a summary of the activities carried out be the organizations.

By olga on Apr 7th, 2010

What is the situation for girls from Uzbekistan or other countries in Kazakhstan ?
Recently, the migrant girls have the most problems. Let’s say their documents are OK. But the police take them to the police station and say they have to check their documents and then take the documents and lock the girls up. In a recent case in July in Taldykorgan, the police held the girls for six days, while they “checked” their documents. For six days, the girls were raped, beaten. They gave them nothing to eat. They were treated horribly while they were imprisoned. At the very end, they give their documents back and said “Your documents are fine, you can go.”

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The meeting brought together 32 participants from 16 countries with the aim to exchange experience, share problems and find solutions, renew and strengthen the partnership ties and get to know new network members better.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The Ohrid network meeting was preceded by an activists’ meeting. 18 sex worker activists turned the meeting room into an art workshop and a cafeteria to discuss issues and personal experience around sex work in their countries.