Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Baby Trade in Tajikistan

By Nilufar Karimova











Newborn babies in Tajikistan are occasionally spirited away from maternity homes and sold. Four criminal cases were launched into “baby thefts” between January and June. 

In some cases, mothers agree to give away an unwanted child, generally because they are unmarried and cannot face the social stigma. Sometimes, though, parents are told their baby was born dead.

In one recent case, a newborn baby girl went missing from a maternity hospital in the capital Dushanbe, and police discovered she had been bought by a woman who wanted a child, for around 200 US dollars.

The head of Tajikistan’s Supreme Court, Nusratullo Abdullozoda, believes that in most cases, the mothers are complicit, and the transaction amounts to an illegal form of adoption. 

Nilufar Karimova is an IWPR contributor in Tajikistan.  

This audio programme went out in Russian and Tajik on national radio stations in Tajikistan. It was produced under two IWPR projects: Empowering Media and Civil Society Activists to Support Democratic Reforms in Tajikistan, funded by the European Union; and the Human Rights Reporting, Confidence Building and Conflict Information Programme, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway.The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of IWPR and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of either the European Union or the Norwegian foreign ministry.