Prostitution in Kyrgyzstan

Prostitution: Legal
Brothel Ownership: Illegal

Pimping: Illegal

Prostitution is not a crime but the exact legal status is unclear.

"The sex trade is booming in Bishkek, and authorities are struggling to respond. Prostitution is not a crime in Kyrgyzstan, and with no legal measures in place to regulate the industry, overburdened Bishkek police are proposing to either legalize prostitution or, alternatively, outlaw it once and for all.

Bishkek police claim that some 3,500 prostitutes work in Kyrgyzstan's capital, while unofficial estimates put that number at 1.5 to 2 times higher. Officials claim that sex workers from neighboring countries account for the vast majority of the number, with Kyrgyzstani prostitutes making up a mere 2 to 3 percent of the total. In addition, the capital offers some 169 saunas, 177 hotels and more than 1,000 private apartments with sexual services, police say.

Prostitution is not a crime in Kyrgyzstan, and prostitutes say that popular attitudes toward their work are more understanding than in neighboring Uzbekistan. But that welcome has its limits. Violent crimes involving prostitutes such as murders or assaults are on the increase. With less than adequate control over migration streams into Kyrgyzstan, police fear that cycle of violence could only worsen."

Jan. 10, 2005, Abdan Shukeev, "Bishkek Battles Going Bawdy," EurasiaNet

 

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