Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story

Without education children remain vulnerable to exploitation

Posted on Feb 18, 2013

Access to education is a fundamental right which so many children are deprived of, increasing their vulnerability to commercial sexual exploitation. Recent years have seen advances in Kazakhstan's standard of living. However, the GDP share allocated to the social sector, including health and education, has remained relatively low. The result is that children deprived of parental and family care are in a precarious situation. In 2011, it was estimated that there were more than 36,000 orphaned children in Kazakhstan. Orphans face a particular barrier to education, as some orphanages and boarding schools only offer schooling until the age of 15. A lack of education and the absence of a safe learning environment make orphaned children more susceptible to commercial sexual exploitation. Tajik and Uzbek refugee children are also among the most vulnerable groups in Kazakhstan. In addition to language barriers, refugee children are often denied the right to education as they cannot enrol in school due to their status. There is a lack of data on the prevalence of the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Kazakhstan; therefore, it is difficult to determine its true magnitude. What we do know is that this exploitation is seasonal, increasing in incidence during the warm season when agricultural work begins and street children appear on the streets. To understand more about the current situation in Kazakhstan and how more can be done to protect children, you can read the newly published ECPAT International report here.