Information by Country

Tajikistan: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
Half of Tajikistanís population is under 18 years of age; two thirds live in rural areas. Economic growth averaging 8 per cent annually has reduced poverty over the past five years, and social reform has become a national priority.

Issues facing children in Tajikistan

  • Poverty has forced a million Tajiks to work abroad. Such migration has financial benefits for workersí families, but also social costs, leading to abandonment or institutionalization of children; some are forced into prostitution. More than 80 per cent of Tajikistanís 11,000 institutionalized children are not orphans.
  • Mortality rates for infants (92 per 1,000) and children under five (118 per 1,000) are disturbing. Inadequate pre- and postnatal care, malnutrition and poor recognition of danger signs for childhood illnesses are leading causes of death.
  • Tajikistan spends just $12 per capita on health care, one of the lowest rates in the world. Educationís share of GDP is 2.8 per cent, also low, even for a low-income country.
    Anaemia rates for women and children under five are high; goitre afflicts more than one in ten people; and vitamin A deficiency affects around a quarter of children.
  • One fifth of Tajikistanís schools were destroyed during the civil wars of the 1990s, and many others lack sanitary facilities or heat. Low teacher pay has induced many teachers to seek other jobs, and there are widespread shortages of textbooks and other materials. 
  • There is no separate juvenile justice system. 


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