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Towards a child-friendly social protection system

International Forum on Reform within Child Social Protection, Uzbekistan
© UNICEF/Uzbekistan/2006
Participants in International Forum on Reform within Child Social Protection, Uzbekistan

Senior officials from several government ministries along with representatives from national and international organizations met in Tashkent to reaffirm their commitment to child protection system reform.

The International Forum on Reform within Child Social Protection concluded in Tashkent on 16 November 2006 with delegates forming a special working group to finalize the recommendations agreed by the participants which will be submitted to the Government’s Cabinet of Ministers by the end of the year.

Speaking on the main areas for reform, the CEE/CIS Regional Adviser on Child Protection, Judita Reichenberg, stressed the need for de-institutionalization within the current childcare system, diversification services and decentralization of planning and resource management.

Participants in the two-day forum, which took place 15-16 November, included Uzbek Cabinet Ministers from the Ministries of Health, Public Education, Labour and Social Protection, UNICEF, the “You are not alone” Foundation and the Republican Centre for Social Adaptation of children. They were joined by several other international agencies and global experts.

A range of issues were discussed and key recommendations made included:

  • speeding up the process of submission and approval of a long-awaited draft law on “Guarantees of the rights of a child” by the Parliament; 
  • the development of a comprehensive national programme with an emphasis on several aspects of support for vulnerable children including socio-legal, educational, medical and psychological support;
  • the piloting and analysis of alternative forms of social protection of children in the Tashkent and Samarkand regions; 
  • the creation and fostering of conditions encouraging close collaboration between the government, non-governmental and international organizations in the area of social protection.
© UNICEF/Uzbekistan/2006
International Forum on Reform within Child Social Protection took place in Tashkent 15-16 November 2006

Also addressing the Forum, Trond Waage, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre consultant said:  “If we want to achieve success, we have to move from a controlling and excluding social protection system, to an inclusive, participatory one that is oriented towards the child.”

The event was opened by the Deputy Prime Minster of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr Rustam Kasymov, who said the recommendations coming out of this forum should guide the future of Uzbekistan’s child protection system.

The forum recognised the need to develop a series of measures aimed at improving and strengthening current systems and adapting them to international standards.

Discussions during the two-day Forum involved analysis and evaluation of existing legislation in the area of social protection of children, analysis of the types of services currently available in the sphere of child protection and how inter-sectoral relations are working. Delegates also discussed possible new approaches and alternative organizational models of the system of social protection and considered the use of international legal instruments as an aid to regulate social protection of children.



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