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More Kyrgyz Citizens Rescued From 'Slavery' Abroad

BISHKEK -- The number of Kyrgyz citizens who required official help to return home from de facto slavery abroad doubled this year, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Bermet Moldobaeva, head of the Kyrgyz branch of the International Organization for Migration, told RFE/RL today that the number of Kyrgyz "rescued from slavery abroad this year is more than 400."

She said the number of Kyrgyz citizens needing help from similar situations in previous years was between 200-300.

Moldobaeva said many Kyrgyz have been rescued from sex slavery in Turkey and Middle Eastern countries and from slave labor in Kazakhstan and Russia.

She added that the increase in the number of Kyrgyz citizens working against their will or being trapped in sex slavery abroad can be explained by the overall increase in emigration from Kyrgyzstan after deadly ethnic clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern Osh and Jalal-Abad regions in June 2010.

More than 400 people -- mainly Uzbeks -- were killed in the violence. Thousands of others were injured and tens of thousands displaced.

Read more in Kyrgyz here

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