DUSHANBE, October 15, 2015, Asia-Plus -- Deputies of Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament have endorsed amendments proposed by the government to the country’s administrative procedure code and administrative code.  The amendments provide for raising fines for prostitution.

A regular sitting of the second session of the Majlisi Namoyandagon of the fifth convocation was held on October 15.

Presenting the amendments, MP Bakhtovar Safarov said Tajikistan toughened measures against prostitution.

According to him, the amendments provide for doubling fines for prostitution – from between 400 and 800 somoni to between 800 and 1,600 somoni.

Besides, prostitution will also be punishable by up to 15 days of home arrest, Safarov said.

Meanwhile, the Tajik authorities note that the number of prostitutes and brothels has increased in the country.

The authorities noted in June last year that there were 1,777 prostitutes in Tajikistan, which was 500 prostitutes more than in the same period of the previous year.  Last year, the authorities reportedly identified 30 women below the age of 18 working as street prostitutes.

The number of brothels has also increased in Tajikistan.  80 new brothels have reportedly been registered in the country over the first six months of this year, bringing a total number of the revealed brothels to 194.

We will recall that Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry was cracking down on prostitution in June last year, detaining 505 sex workers during the campaign’s first few days.  Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda launched the operation in early June after publicly expressing concern about the growth of “immoral crimes,” including prostitution (an administrative offense) and human trafficking.  “People who are detained for immoral crimes or have venereal diseases, their names, photos and fingerprints will be entered to a special electronic database,” the minister said on June 5, 2014.

Sex workers who were detained had to undergo tests; the results showed 450 out of 505 detainees were carrying some sort of sexually transmitted disease (STD), the Interior Ministry said on June 12. Several dozen were reportedly fined.