Uzbekistan’s new initiatives on Human Rights

09 March 2021
Uzbekistan’s new initiatives on Human Rights

The first initiative. Uzbekistan is pursuing a radical policy of increasing the role of women in the political, public and business life of the country. Two new laws on gender equality and the protection of women from violence and harassment have been adopted.

It is planned to hold a Women Leader’s Dialogue of Central Asian states and a Regional Women’s Business Forum in Uzbekistan.

The second initiative. Much attention is paid to the protection of the rights of persons with special needs. A new Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force this year. The Parliament of Uzbekistan plans to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Uzbekistan also proposes to create a Regional Council for the self-realization of People with Disabilities.

The third initiative. Today, intellectually and spiritually developed, proactive young people are becoming a driver of sustainable progress. There are more than 2 billion young people in the world. This year in Uzbekistan is declared the Year of Supporting Youth and Strengthening Public Health. Most of the challenges facing humanity — such as threats to peace and security, terrorism and extremism, racism, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic must be addressed with active participation of young people.

The initiative to adopt an International Convention on the Rights of Youth, put forward by the President of Uzbekistan from the high rostrum of the United Nations General Assembly, has been supported with great interest by the international community.

This year, we plan to hold a World Conference on Youth Rights under the UN auspices.
The purpose of the international forum is once again to give the youngest people the opportunity to directly participate in the development and implementation of national, regional and global strategies aimed at meeting their immediate needs, protecting their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests.

The President of Uzbekistan also put forward a proposal to establish the institution of a UN Special Rapporteur on Youth Rights.

In the current International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, a Law on the Children’s Ombudsman will be adopted.

The fourth initiative. Uzbekistan actively participates in the United Nations World Programme for Human Rights Education. The National Action Plan for the implementation of the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training is being implemented.
Together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, we are planning to hold a Global Forum on Human Rights Education.

In order to develop the system of human rights education, Uzbekistan contributes to the UN Voluntary Fund for Human Rights.

The fifth initiative. Uzbekistan pays priority attention to the deepening of reforms in the judicial and legal sphere, as a result of which concrete measures have been taken to implement international standards in the field of judicial independence and the protection of the right to a fair trial.

Implementation of the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers has begun.

In order to ensure the independence of the judiciary and regulate the selection and appointment of judicial personnel, the President of Uzbekistan proposed that the UN Human Rights Council consider the development of universal principles of the judicial councils.

The sixth initiative. The fight against torture is a priority area of judicial and legal reforms in Uzbekistan. Work has begun on the implementation of a national preventive mechanism for the elimination of torture. The closure of the specialized penal colony located in the village of Zhaslyk was an important humanitarian event. As a result of the measures taken, the number of convicts held in places of deprivation of liberty has decreased by almost three times.

Over the past short period, we have made significant progress in our interaction with the special procedures. Visits of two Special Rrapporteurs were carried out.

We intend to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
Uzbekistan invites the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to pay a visit.

Moreover, we have decided to send a standing invitation to all mandate holders to visit our country. Of course, cooperation with distinguished mandate holders will help to make headway in the effective implementation of reforms in Uzbekistan.

The seventh initiative. Uzbekistan also intends to continue to promote the establishment of a regional human rights mechanism in the Asian region. In this regard, a permanent platform has been created — the Samarkand Forum on Human Rights.

There is no universal model of development in the world that is equally suitable for all States in the same historical period. The sad experience of a number of countries clearly shows that attempts to impose «unified standards» of democratic development, without taking into account specific historical, social and other aspects, as well as national and religious traditions, are counterproductive.

Uzbekistan fully endorses the role of the UN in international peacekeeping, maintaining security, promoting sustainable development, and guaranteeing human rights.

As an active member of the Human Rights Council, Uzbekistan wishes to express explicitly its continuous readiness for broad and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries of the world and practical dialogue with the UN.

Akmal Saidov,
The Director of the National Center
for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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