Prostitution in Uzbekistan is illegal,[1] but prostitution has increased within the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union.[2] UNAIDS estimated there to be 22,000 sex workers in the country in 2019.[3] Many of the women have turned to prostitution in Uzbekistan because of poverty.[4][5]

Law enforcement is inconsistent.[1] Some police officers will harass prostitutes and extort "protection money" from them.[1][5] Sometimes prostitutes work with police as informants to avoid being arrested.[5][6][7]


HIV is a problem in the country, but the true situation is unknown as the Government has manipulated figure to downplay the problem.[8] Prostitutes are a high risk group, and has been blamed for a rise in HIV infections.[2][9] In 2004, of the reported 11,000 cases of HIV in the country, 20% were sex workers.[2]

Clients are reluctant to use condoms.[5][2] UNAIDS estimate 50% condom usage during paid-sex.[10] 95% of Uzbek migrants to Russia use prostitutes whilst in Russia according to a 2009 survey, sometimes this is unprotected sex. Some get infected with HIV and then pass this on to Uzbek prostitutes on their return.[8]

2016 estimates of HIV prevalence amongst sex workers is 2.9%[11]

Sex trafficking

See also: Human trafficking in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Uzbek women and children are subjected to sex trafficking in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia, and also internally in brothels, clubs, and private residences.[12]

Article 135 of the criminal code prohibits both sex trafficking and forced labour, prescribing penalties of three to 12 years imprisonment. The government reported that 250 of the crimes investigated in 2016 were related to sexual exploitation.[12]

The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks Uzbekistan as a 'Tier 2 Watch List' country.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "The Legal Status of Prostitution by Country". ChartsBin. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Central Asia: HIV Infections Mount In Uzbekistan As Prostitution Rises (Part 2)". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  3. ^ "Sex workers: Population size estimate - 2019". UNAIDS. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Uzbekistan: Sex Trade on the Rise". Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  5. ^ a b c d "Uzbekistan: Police and Prostitutes in Unholy Alliance". Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  6. ^ Anjum, Zafar (5 November 2013). "Excerpts: Lusty Indian men for "boom boom" in Uzbekistan". Kitaab. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Travelling with the Indian sex tourist to Tashkent in search of 'full enjoyment'". 3 Quarks Daily. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Uzbekistan: HIV/AIDS Statistics". The BEARR Trust. 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  9. ^ "In-depth: World AIDS Day 2002". IRIN. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  10. ^ "Condom use among sex workers - Percent, 2016". UNAIDS. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  11. ^ "HIV prevalence amongst sex workers". UNAIDS. 2016. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Uzbekistan 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2018.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  13. ^ "Uzbekistan 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.