KAZAKHSTAN: Teen Suicide Rate Among the World’s Highest

KAZAKHSTAN (Central Asia)                                 

Population: 17.52 million

Fertility Rate:  From 3.5 children/woman in 1970 to 2.6 children/woman in 2010

Life Expectancy:  From 62 years (1970) to 67 years (2010)

Infant mortality:  23.06  deaths / 1000 live births

Male/Female Ratio:  0.92 male(s)/female

Major Religions:  Islam, Russian Orthodox

– Kazakhstan has the highest incidence of suicides recorded among girls aged 15 to 19, and the second highest for boys.  Official statistics show that 237 deaths of children and adolescents were recorded in 2011, and 260 the year before.   There was a 23 per cent increase in the number of suicides among young people between 1999 and 2008.

– Kazakhstan, known prior to 1992 as the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, was subject to the abor­tion legisla­tion and regula­tions of the formerUnion of Soviet Socialist Republics.  As a result, abortion practices in Kazakhstan were similar to those throughout the former USSR. There has been no change in the abortion law since independence. Abortion is available without legal restrictions in Kazakhstan.

– 51 % of women use forms of contraception.  Current use of contraceptives is higher among sexually active, unmarried adolescents than among married youth.  Use of IUD comprises around two-thirds of all contraceptive practice.

– Recent trends support the observation of the substitution of contraception for abortion in Kazakhstan. In the space of less than a decade, the abortion rate has been cut in half by an increase of the same magnitude in contraceptive prevalence.

– One third of marriages end with divorces inKazakhstan.

– Kazakhstan has the highest rate of HIV infection inCentral Asia, with HIV cases reported in all its major cities. As of May 2012, there were 18,459 HIV-positive people registered.  Injecting drug use remains the primary mode of transmission.  78% of people living with HIV are between the ages of 15-39.

– The country has about 250,000 heroin users and 20,000 sex workers.  About 235,000 people are registered as alcoholics.

– Women’s imprisonment has become one of the leading domestic issues in Kazakhstan. The number of female prisoners now incarcerated is four times higher than in 1990.  Women are being imprisoned in Kazakhstan at a rate unprecedented in the country’s history.

– In October 2011, the President signed a restrictive new law, “On Religious Activities and Religious Associations.”   The new law requires existing religious groups in the mainly Muslim nation to dissolve and register through a procedure that is all but guaranteed to exclude smaller groups, including minority Christian communities.  It also imposes a ban on prayer in the workplace.















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