A 25-year-old woman from Dushanbe has got a lengthy jail term for trafficking young woman from Sughd to Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

The Khujand city court sentenced Dilrabo Mirzobekova to nine years in prison.   She was found guilty of human trafficking (Article 130 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code).  She will serve her term in a general penal colony.

Judge Suhrob Qosimi, who presided over the trial, says Dilrabo Mirzobekova, who had a previous conviction for hooliganism, in conspiracy with her acquaintance Zebo in August 2016 promised F.I., a young woman from the Sughd province, job in a shop, but the woman they recruited was actually intended for a brothel.

“On November 1, 2016, F.I. arrived in Dubai.  Mirzobekova and her acquaintance met F.I. at the airport and accommodated her in a rental apartment.  They sell F.I. to another woman for 30,000 U.S. dollars.  The woman has forced F.I. into prostitution so that F.I. would work the money she paid for her to Mirzobekova.  The woman exploited F.I during 45 days and sometimes she had to receive up to 15 clients per day,” the judge said, noting that the woman released F.I. after the latter had worked the money.

On arrival in Tajikistan, F.I. has reportedly made application to police against Dilrabo Mirzobekova.  

Meanwhile, the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report released  by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, in particular, notes that  the Government of Tajikistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.  The government reportedly demonstrated significant efforts during the reporting period by drafting and approving a national action plan for 2016-2018, approving a national referral mechanism, and monitoring for forced labor of children in the annual cotton harvest.  The Inter-Ministerial Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons met quarterly to coordinate governmental anti-trafficking efforts and established a working group to monitor implementation of the victim protection law.  However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas.  Slow progress in the implementation of its victim protection law left officials without victim identification procedures, and resulted in inadequate victim protection services.  Endemic corruption contributed to the transport of victims across borders, yet the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses.

The government maintained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, according to the report.  Article 130.1 of the 2003 criminal code, amended in 2004 and 2008, prohibits all forms of trafficking, including the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labor.  The article prescribes penalties of five to 15 years imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.

Article 132 criminalizes recruitment for sexual or other exploitation through fraud—but not through coercion—and carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.  Article 167 prohibits the buying and selling of children, prescribing five to 15 years imprisonment and several other criminal code provisions include trafficking crimes, such as article 130.2, which criminalizes the use of slave labor, and article 241.2, which criminalizes the use of minors in the production of pornography.