Tajik law enforcement authorities say they have arrested the 24-year-old woman from the Zafarobod district (Sughd province) who trafficked a local woman to Turkey.

According to the Interior Ministry’s website, the woman in May 2016 promised the 27-year-old woman from the northern city of Buston job in Istanbul, but the woman she recruited was actually intended for practicing prostitution in Istanbul.

Criminal proceedings have been instituted against the alleged human trafficker and an investigation is under way.  

The 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State notes that Tajikistan is a source and, to a lesser extent, destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and a source country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking.  Women are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking after they are informally divorced from their absent migrant husbands and need to provide for their families.  Some women who traveled to Syria or Iraq with promises of marriage were instead sold into sexual slavery.  Tajik women and girls are transported to Afghanistan for the purpose of forced marriage, which can lead to sex trafficking and debt bondage, according to the report.

The Government of Tajikistan reportedly does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made increased law enforcement efforts, initiating prosecution of 24 suspected traffickers and convicting 10, the report says.