• KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 394

Kazakhstan Weighs Down on Human Trafficking

In response to data issued by international experts citing the current level of  human trafficking in Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has just signed a law to address the situation. First and foremost, the new law aims to protect and provide social support for victims, the majority of whom are migrant workers, people with disabilities, solitary pensioners, young women and children. Referencing statistics, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Marat Kozhaev announced that 19 criminal cases were opened in Kazakhstan for child trafficking in 2023, with an additional six already logged this year. He explained that most of the children are sold within the country to meet the demand of people unable to have their own. Such cases involve staff from perinatal centers and orphanages, as well as people with unwanted pregnancies. Child trafficking is a lucrative business which continues apace despite the threat of a jail sentence of up to 18 years. According to the police, there were cases this year of parents asking for between KZT100,000 to KZT2 million, equivalent to 208 -4,168 US$, for their new-borns. Young mothers often look for potential buyers online, even while pregnant. Under the recent law, the Criminal Code has been amended to include “crimes related to trafficking in persons”, covering kidnapping, unlawful confinement, human trafficking (including trafficking minors), prostitution, etc. Amendments have also been made to the Administrative Code aimed at preventing the sale of children, including new-borns, through the introduction of the clause: “Failure of officials to report incidents of abandonment of new-borns, admission and delivery of orphans and children without parental care.” Incidents of human trafficking are invariably tragic. In most cases, the victims usually poor or homeless, are taken by force or deception to remote corners of the country, where forced to work on peasant farms, they are subjected to backbreaking labor, beatings, and a lack of medical care for months or years. The situation becomes more complicated if the victim is a migrant from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, or Turkmenistan. Such workers often without the documentation to work legally, are attracted by promises of decent pay and then literally put in chains. Another illegal business is begging. Not long ago, on a street in Almaty, volunteers rescued a lone, elderly person who had been forced through beatings and starvation to beg for several months. As a result of the beggar's testimony, a gang of slave traders was arrested the following day. Enforced prostitution is also common, particularly amongst low-income families and orphans. International experts have repeatedly warned Kazakh authorities of the need to increase its legal levers to tackle human trafficking. In 2020, the US placed Kazakhstan on its watch list which as Kazakhstan’s commissioner for human rights Elvira Azimova, said at the time, was a direct response to the country's number of victims. “The official numbers of identified cases of human trafficking and criminal prosecution in Kazakhstan are significantly lower than in neighbouring countries - including Kyrgyzstan and Uzbkistan -  for whose population Kazakhstan is a destination. This may...

Tajikistan Denies Report of Secret Chinese Military Base

The British newspaper The Telegraph has reported that China has built a secret military base in Tajikistan. “The facility, carved out of mountains that rise 13,000 ft high, has look-out towers and troops from both countries, which now hold regular joint military drills shown on Chinese state media,” the article says. The Telegraph also posted several satellite images, taken in different years. In 2016 China and Tajikistan signed a security agreement, highlighting that the external threat to Tajikistan has escalated following the Taliban's rise to power in Afghanistan. Dushanbe and Beijing work in partnership to combat threats, both bilaterally and within the framework of international organizations. However, Tajikistan does not officially recognize the existence of the military facilities shown in the Telegraph article. The Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies that there are any Chinese military bases in the country. “China does not have a military base on the territory of Tajikistan. This issue is not on the agenda of bilateral relations,” a statement published on the ministry's website reads.

Kyrgyz Minister: Dependence on Western Technology to Blame for Russian Payment Ban

Kyrgyzstan's Minister of Economy and Commerce Daniyar Amangeldiev recently took part in an international industrial exhibition in Yekaterinburg, Russia. In an interview with Russian media, Amangeldiev said that Kyrgyzstan has faced problems because of its dependence on western technology. It is for this reason, he said, that the country had to suspend the service of Russian 'MIR' payment cards in April this year. MIR payment cards stopped being accepted in Kyrgyzstan at the request of Elkart, the Interbank Processing Center (IPC) that services the Kyrgyz payment system. Amangeldiev commented: "The sanctions applied to the Russian Federation are also reflected in our economy. The software on which "Elkart" is based belongs to European partners. We are forced to refuse service to MIR cards because it would have undermined our domestic payment system." Amangeldiev emphasized that Kyrgyzstan is currently developing its own payment software, which will allow payments using Russian cards. Kyrgyzstan's prime minister, Akylbek Japarov, has noted that a fully functioning payment system is needed most of all by Kyrgyz labor migrants working in Russia.

Uzbekistan: Bukhara Administration Denies Relocation of “Eternal Bukhara”

Previously, The Times of Central Asia reported in an article titled "Land Cleared for Tourism next to Old Bukhara; UNESCO Urges Pause" that the construction of "Eternal Bukhara," a tourist facility in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan, had sparked protests from locals and UNESCO alike. Recently, rumors spread on social media claiming that the "Eternal Bukhara" project is proceeding on the city's outskirts despite public objections. However, the Bukhara city administration has now provided official information to clarify the situation. According to the regional administration, these reports are false. They assert that the construction of the cultural ethnographic park "Eternal Bukhara" is progressing systematically. Most of the old and dilapidated buildings in the area have been dismantled, and the construction site is now 90% ready. Additionally, the Bukhara regional administration have stated that previous dismantling work was completed without affecting the population or surrounding structures, whilst adhering to technical safety regulations. Nearly 70% of the work has reportedly already been completed. The administration also noted that the project documents for "Eternal Bukhara" are being finalized in collaboration with renowned historians, scientists, cultural heritage experts, and international project organizations.

Over 200 UNDP Projects Implemented in Kazakhstan

During a meeting between Kazakhstan's Vice Prime Minister, Nurlan Baibazarov and Katarzhina Vaviernia, permanent representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kazakhstan, discussions focused on UNDP projects aimed to promote the economic development of UN member states. To date, over  200 projects worth over $200 million have been implemented in the country with support from the government of Kazakhstan, public organizations, the business sector, UN agencies, and other partners.  Broad ranging, the initiatives include the development of small and medium businesses, green energy, agriculture, and ecotourism. Nurlan Baibazarov  noted that Kazakhstan is ready to present the third Voluntary National Review on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at the High-Level Political Forum in New York in 2025 and stated: "Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is a national priority for Kazakhstan. We pay great attention to discussing the implementation of the goals at different platforms to find optimal solutions for our state's sustainable development. The voluntary review will objectively reflect the country's main achievements, challenges, and emerging problems." In addition, it was noted that Kazakhstan is interested in strengthening cooperation with UNDP, and in particular,  the successful implementation of the UNDP Country Program for 2021-2025.

Central Asian Countries and Azerbaijan Begin Military Exercises in Kazakhstan

On July 8, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense announced the start of joint military exercises - 'Birlestik-2024' (Association-2024) - by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in the country’s Mangystau region. Until July 17, the states’ military contingents will be modelling and practicing a joint operation to localize an armed conflict in manoeuvres at both the Oimasha training ground and a Caspian Sea site two kilometers from Cape Tokmak. Some four thousand military personnel and up to 700 pieces of military equipment will be involved in the exercise. Tactical episodes will be played out with the participation of ground and air reconnaissance groups, naval special forces, army and front-line aviation crews, warships and boats, artillery crews, assault and tank units. In recent years, there has been talk about increasing military cooperation between Turkic-speaking countries. In November 2023, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev called on leaders of Turkic states to strengthen defense cooperation and at a summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Astana, Kazakhstan, stated: "Wars and bloody conflicts break out. In this case, the main guarantor of security, first of all, becomes the defense potential. I believe that cooperation between the member states in areas such as security, defense, and the defense industry should be further increased.” Member countries of the OTS, established in 2009, include Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, while Hungary, Turkmenistan, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have observer status.