The amendments made to Article 142 (indecent assaults) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code have entered into force after President Emomali Rahmon signed them on November 13.   

Part 3 added to the article stipulates that actions, provided for by parts 1 and 2 of the article, committed against two or more persons clearly under the age of 14 are punishable by imprisonment for a term of 6 to 8 years with lifelong deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities.   

Meanwhile, official statistics show that cases of rape or indecent assault are solved in Tajikistan rarely. 

It is to be noted that minors in Tajikistan are vulnerable not only in terms of sexual violence, but also to many other forms of abuse – the protection of their rights is still far from great.  One of the serious problems in the protection of the rights of minors subjected to sexual violence is the intention of the society to leave such cases in silence.  According to psychologists, for avoiding the transformation of girls sexually abused or harassed into outcasts and “disgraced”, the cases of sexual abuse are concealed in Tajik society.

Such a situation is not only in Tajikistan but it is also in other Central Asia’s nations.  Some sources note that no one really knows the scope of sexualized abuse of children in Central Asia.

According to official statistics based on data from the Interior Ministry, 49 cases of sexual assaults committed against minors were reported in Tajikistan last year, which is 8 cases less than in 2021. 

In addition to this article (Article 142), Tajikistan’s Penal Code has three other articles providing for punishment for sexual assaults against minors.

Article 138 provides for an imprisonment for a term of 7 to 12 years for raping a minor, in case of relapse - from 12 to 25 years.

Article 139 stipulates that sexual assaults against minors are punishable by imprisonment for a term of   7 to 10 years.  

Article 141 for an imprisonment for a term of 2 to 10 years for a sexual intercourse and other acts of sexual nature with a person under the age of 16.