06ASTANA32, KAZAKHSTAN ENACTS LONG-AWAITED ANTI-TRAFFICKING AMENDMENTS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ASTANA32 2006-04-19 05:30 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7221
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAST #0032/01 1090530
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190530Z APR 06
FM USOFFICE ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0104
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY 0098
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0016
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0042
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0004
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0005
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ASTANA 0106

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 000032 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP(MHALL), SCA/CEN(JMUDGE), INL, DRL, AND PRM 
PLEASE PASS TO USAID 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ASEC ELAB KCRM KFRD KWMN PHUM PREL PREF PGOV
SMIG, KZ 
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN ENACTS LONG-AWAITED ANTI-TRAFFICKING AMENDMENTS 
 
ASTANA 00000032  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  On March 2, President Nazarbayev signed into law a 
comprehensive set of anti-Trafficking in Persons amendments 
("TIP amendments") drafted by an inclusive interagency 
anti-trafficking Working Group.  The TIP amendments strengthen 
anti-trafficking provisions within the criminal code, the code 
of criminal procedure, the administrative code, and a 
presidential decree.  Drafted through a transparent interagency 
process that included non-governmental stakeholders, the TIP 
amendments were the key achievement under the 2003-2005 National 
Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons (2003-2005 
"National Plan"), and will provide a solid legal basis for 
additional progress under the 2006-2008 National Plan. 
 
 
 
BACKGROUND 
 
------- 
 
2.  The TIP Amendments enacted on March 2 represent the 
culmination of a process that lasted more than two years. 
Starting in 2004, the Ministry of Justice has led an interagency 
working group focused on addressing problems related to 
trafficking in persons, as prioritized by the National Plan of 
Action for 2003-2005 and its successor.  The working group 
includes representatives of the Ministries of Internal Affairs 
(MVD); Foreign Affairs (MFA); Labor and Social Welfare(MOL); 
Education and Science(MOES); and Culture, Information and Sports 
(MCIS).  Also represented are the National Security Committee 
(KNB), which supervises the Border Guards; the office of the 
Procurator General (PGO); and the National Commission on Family 
and Women.  All of these ministries and agencies have 
responsibilities for combating trafficking.  The OSCE center in 
Almaty and from the International Organization for Migration 
(IOM) contributed expert advice on international laws and 
standards.  NGOs were represented by the Kazakhstan 
International Bureau of Human Rights (KIBHR), a national legal 
network, and from the Union of Crisis Centers, an IOM-affiliated 
network of TIP NGOs.  Post was invited to observe each meeting. 
Though the drafting process was at times slow, it was thorough. 
The resulting amendments will improve dramatically the legal 
basis for prosecutions, and additional provisions will improve 
protection for foreign victims and help prevent Kazakhstanis 
from being trafficked abroad. 
 
 
 
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS 
 
------------------- 
 
3.  The amendments affect six articles in the Criminal Code: 
article 113 (organ and tissue harvesting); article 125 
(kidnapping); article 126 (illegal restriction of freedom, 
constructive kidnapping); article 128 (trafficking in persons, 
recruitment for exploitation); article 133 (trafficking of 
under-aged persons); and article 175-1 (illegal harvest of 
organs or tissue of a human corpse), which was expanded by new 
article 275-1.  Non-substantive amendments to the code of 
criminal procedure integrated these changes into the criminal 
code.  Article 56, a new Administrative Code provision, provides 
for protection of TIP victims from deportation.  An amendment to 
Article 394 excludes TIP victims from penalties for illegal 
immigrants.  Additional changes to the Administrative Code 
integrate substantive amendments into existing implementation 
provisions.  A final amendment applies to the presidential 
decree, "On the legal status of foreign citizen in the Republic 
of Kazakhstan."  The most significant changes are discussed below 
 
 
 
4.  Criminal Code definitions:  New definitions added to 
criminal code articles 125, 126, 128, and 133 clarify that 
illegal "exploitation" includes not only sexual exploitation, 
but also forced labor exploitation, and any actions consistent 
with forcing human slavery or bondage.  An amendment to Article 
126 also adds language to include as victims of constructive 
kidnapping (i.e. forcible confinement) those held due to 
involuntary financial or other dependence.  Although Articles 
125 and 126 are not strictly trafficking provisions as defined 
by the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), they 
provide law enforcement and procurators with additional criminal 
charges that would apply to most trafficking scenarios. 
 
 
ASTANA 00000032  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
 
 
5.  Criminal Code Articles 128 and 133:  Article 128 was amended 
to remove the heavily-criticized "deception" provision that 
previously required that a victim be unaware of the type of work 
he or she was going to do; in practice, many victims were aware 
of the type of labor they would undertake, but not the 

involuntary bondage nature of their relationship with the 
trafficker.  (Note:  Because Article 133 applies to minors, the 
deception provision was not a factor.  End note.)  Both articles 
were amended to expand the actions that constitute trafficking 
to include not only recruitment of victims, but also sale of, 
purchase of, transportation of, and transfer of victims.  Any 
act facilitating trafficking by hiding or providing shelter for 
victims, or undertaking any other commercial transaction that 
contributes to exploitation, were also prohibited.  Subsection 2 
of both articles lists aggravating circumstances for sentencing: 
conspiracy related to trafficking (other than by organized crime 
syndicates); repeated offenses; the use or threat of deadly 
force against a victim; the use of weapons against victims; 
trafficking of a pregnant victim; trafficking of multiple 
victims; deception of the victim or abuse of trust; abuse of 
official position to traffic victims; abuse of the victim's 
financial or other dependence on the trafficker to maintain the 
victim's compliance.  Absent aggravating circumstances, each 
charge under article 128 is punishable by up to five years' 
imprisonment.  With aggravation, sentences under Article 128 
range from five to seven years per count.  Under Article 133, 
where a victim is a minor, each charge is subject to five to 
seven years' imprisonment, or seven to ten year's sentence with 
aggravating circumstances. 
 
 
 
6.  Articles 128 and 133, continued:  A third subsection of both 
articles provides for more serious charges for international 
trafficking.  Each instance of trafficking victims into, 
through, or out of Kazakhstan would face a seven to ten year 
sentence under Article 128.  International trafficking of minors 
would be subject to a ten to twelve year sentence under Article 
133.  Finally, Subsection 4 specifies that any trafficking case 
where a victim dies from negligence or faces other "grave 
consequences" resulting from having been trafficked, or where a 
trafficking case involves an organized crime syndicate, would be 
subject to seven to fifteen years' imprisonment.  The same 
circumstances would bring a twelve to fifteen year sentence 
under Article 133. 
 
 
 
7.  Administrative Code - Preventing trafficking: An amendment 
to Article 399 prohibits the use of deceptive advertising to 
recruit citizens of Kazakhstan to work abroad. The amendment 
applies equally to false statements and to withholding of 
material information. 
 
 
 
8.  Administrative Code and Presidential Decree- Protections for 
foreign victims:  Article 56, a new section drafted with 
significant feedback from procurators and nongovernmental 
stakeholders, provides for immediate suspension of deportation 
proceedings where a potential deportee alleges that he or she 
has been the victim of a serious crime, including trafficking 
crimes.  Deportation proceedings will not proceed until criminal 
investigations and prosecutions are completed.  Under a related 
amendment to Article 396, trafficking victims are exempted from 
definitions of illegal immigrants.  Accordingly, the 
presidential decree, "On the legal status of foreign citizens" 
was amended to classify foreign victims of trafficking as 
protected under the law and to accord them special temporary 
residence rights. 
 
 
 
9.  COMMENT: Although the TIP amendments as enacted do not 
include all the recommendations of the stakeholders, the key 
provisions remain.  The TIP Amendments are significant not only 
because of the potential for improved government action to 
combat trafficking, but also because it is an unusual example of 
a successful, transparent interagency process.  Government 
restructuring in the run-up to the December 2005 presidential 
elections resulted in changes in key personnel working on TIP in 
the Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs, as well as the 
 
ASTANA 00000032  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
Procurator General's Office.  (Note: With unfortunate timing, 
the leadership of IOM Almaty changed over as well- the office is 
currently operating with an acting director. End note.)  Now 
that post-election changes have settled into place, passage of 
the TIP amendments represents an opportunity to re-energize the 
member agencies.  Post is promoting these efforts at the highest 
levels.  END COMMENT 
TRACY

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