UNICEF and OHCHR Statement on Violence Against Children

02 June 2022

UNICEF and OHCHR commend the rapid reaction of the Ombudsperson of Kyrgyzstan, Ms. Atyr Abdrakhmatova in relation to the case of a child being brutally mistreated by a teacher.

Nothing ever justifies violence against a child, and it is preventable. In Kyrgyzstan, the majority of children are facing some form of violence at home, at school, and in the public sphere.  UNICEF and OHCHR condemn all acts of violence against children and calls for society to protect them from such behaviors. Children in Kyrgyzstan need a safe environment, free from violence and conducive to allow them to develop their full potential. This is also the commitment of the government as per the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its National Development Programme 2021 – 2026 that “every citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic must be protected from violence and humiliation, danger and uncertainty. It is the constitutional duty of the state to provide guarantees of human rights and freedoms”.

Schools must be safe spaces. This means that teachers, social pedagogues, headteachers, and any other adults working in a school are responsible for the protection and safety of each and every child, whilst they are on school grounds. There is never any reason for an adult, tasked with this responsibility, to use violence towards a child.

UNICEF and OHCHR call for a proper investigation and punishment of any responsible person, working in any type of educational institution, who, in her/his capacity, abuses a child.

UNICEF and OHCHR also call for respecting the right to privacy of children by preventing the distribution of materials online, which show children victims of violence or abuse, which can further harm them.  This content should be only shared with relevant authorities to support the legal prosecution of crimes against children.                                                                                                                                                        

We call on the government to refrain from any measures that may lead to the violation of the right of children to education, enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.

We call on all bodies responsible for the prevention and investigation of facts of violence against children, including the General Prosecutor's Office of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Commissioner for Children's Rights of the Kyrgyz Republic, to take further necessary actions for the protection of children.

UNICEF and OHCHR will continue to support the Government of Kyrgyzstan in promoting and respecting children’s rights as a State party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Media contacts

Mavliuda Dzhaparova
Communication Officer
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan

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