In Uzbekistan, yet more cases of children being sold have been uncovered by officers of the State Security Service. Law enforcement officers recently detained women trying to sell their children in four cities in Uzbekistan. A 29-year-old resident of Namangan tried to sell her ten-year-old son for $18,000 and was detained while receiving an advance payment of $4,000. A 31-year-old resident of Termez agreed to sell her newborn daughter for $2,000. She was detained while handing over the baby and receiving the money. A 33-year-old woman from Bukhara region, more recently living in Gulistan, was detained while trying to sell her two-week-old son for $40,000. And in the capital, a 27-year-old woman from Chirchik was detained for trying to sell her six-year-old son for $3,000. Child trafficking has taken on horrific proportions in recent years in Uzbekistan. According to the World Report on Trafficking in Persons, over the timespan from 2014 to 2020, 380 cases of trafficking in newborns were uncovered here. Year after year, these figures continue to increase. Prices for babies range from $200 to $40,000. There are several reasons that drive mothers to such drastic measures. The first is the overall plight of the mother. Often they have no way to make a living, have lost their husbands, or already have several older children. Another child becomes an impossible burden for her -- which can be eased by earning money to feed, clothe, and house herself and the remaining family members. There have been cases when children were offered in exchange for an apartment. The weak state system of support for women in difficult life situations puts these mothers in an impossible situation, having to choose between living in poverty or giving their children and themselves a chance to live in better conditions in the future. Secondly, fear of shame and being publicly ostracized are major factors. Young women and girls who become pregnant for reasons deemed socially unacceptable -- as well as victims of rape -- experience this. In an attempt to hide the pregnancy and the child, such mothers often temporarily move to another city or region. This can culminate in the mother trying to get rid of the child by selling it far away from their home regions after giving birth. Furthermore, Uzbekistan has a very complicated bureaucratic system of adoption, which helps drive the black market for the trafficking of newborns and children. Because of this bureaucracy, only a few people manage to take the desired child home from an orphanage. Therefore, childless couples look for a way to get a child directly from a maternity hospital. The mediator in such transactions is often the medical staff, who negotiate all the terms of sale with the biological mother and adoptive parents in advance. The problem of selling children in Uzbekistan must be addressed comprehensively, experts say. The introduction of sex education lessons in schools is a necessity, as well as the introduction of state programs to support women in need, tougher penalties for...
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One channel of illicit cocaine smuggling into Kazakhstan has been blocked, according to website polisia.kz. In Almaty, authorities found that a rented apartment was being used for the distribution of illegal drugs, which were imported into the country from Italy and Poland. Police seized plastic capsules disguised as coffee - inside of each was a unit of cocaine weighing 250 grams. Furthermore, Almaty police seized a parcel at a Kazpost office that belonged to the suspect. It held plastic jars that contained drugs, the total weight of which was about 0.5-1.0 kilogram (kg) of cocaine and more than 400 grams of ecstasy. In total, that's more than 3,000 single doses. It turned out that the detained foreigner had been acting as a courier for three months. "A pre-trial investigation is being conducted against the detainee for the illegal acquisition and possession of a particularly large amount of narcotic drugs for the purpose of their sale. Further measures are being carried out to establish the channels of cocaine supply in the country," said the deputy head of the department for combating drug crimes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Bakhytzhan Amirkhanov. Possession and sale of drugs in Kazakhstan is punishable by harsh prison terms ranging between 10 to 15 years and the confiscation of property. According to the latest data, 47 anti-drug operations were carried out last year, including in cooperation with the corresponding authorities of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Australia. Eight international and 14 regional drug-trafficking operations were eliminated. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the annual illicit trafficking of narcotic substances in Kazakhstan amounts to 20-25 tons, 95% of which are from cannabinoid group drugs. Most often they are smuggled into the country from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Iran via the Caspian Sea. Additionally, the transit of synthetic drugs from Europe is also an issue accounting for about 5% of the total, with less than 1% in the form of opium, heroin, and other types of hard drugs. Also, a number of drug laboratories have been discovered in Kazakhstan itself, with Astana, Almaty and Shymkent considered to be the leaders in terms of production sites and sales of new types of drugs. In total, 67 participants in criminal drug organizations were detained in 2023, and 483.2 kg of psychotropic substances, 11 kg of heroin, 32.8 kg of opium, 63.7 kg of hashish, 41.6 kg of marijuana, more than 17 tons of poppy raw materials and more than 22 tons of chemical reagents seized. At the same time, more than 3,000 people were convicted for crimes related to the trafficking of synthetic drugs. Statistics show that over the last 10 years, the number of drug addicts globally has increased by 23% and reached 296 million people. Currently in Kazakhstan, the illegal drug market has almost completely moved on to cyberspace, making it much more difficult to track down drug dealers.
BISHKEK (TCA) — Human Rights Watch said on October 31 that draft amendments to Kyrgyzstan’s trade union law would severely inhibit independent trade union organizing and violate international labor treaties to which Kyrgyzstan is a party. Parliament should reject the amendments when they are presented for a third reading, the rights watchdog said in a statement. Continue reading
BISHKEK (TCA) — The initiative of Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament to amend the Constitution by a referendum is now the most discussed topic in the country. The proposed referendum may take place this coming fall. Continue reading
BISHKEK (TCA) — A draft law "On the reconstruction and development of the historical center of the Bishkek city” has been submitted for public discussion. According to the initiator of the bill, MP Omurbek Tekebayev, the new law is aimed at streamlining the construction of new modern buildings in Bishkek based on a single integrated architectural plan. Continue reading
BISHKEK (TCA) — The parliament of Kyrgyzstan on June 22 gave initial approval to a bill restricting the participation of foreign individuals and organizations in ownership and establishment of media outlets in the country. The legislation also bans activities of media outlets financially supported by foreign countries. Continue reading