Have you ever imagined what invisible feels like? Have you ever been denied in accessing basic services like medical assistance or education? Unbelievable in the 21st century, but a reality for many children in Tajikistan.
According to the latest UNHCR data, over 12,000 children in Tajikistan cannot claim their rights, because the birth of these children, was not officially registered, making them “invisible”. Majority of them are left behind by their migrant parents without care and support.
"Many children are often pushed to the margins of society, face difficulties accessing services, and are vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse as a consequence of migration”- Luciano Calestini, Representative of the UNICEF Tajikistan Country Office.
To eliminate childhood statelessness, UNICEF Tajikistan in collaboration with ministries of justice, labour, migration and employment of the population and with the financial support of the Delegation of the European Union have organized Children’s Fair in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan and 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. During the Fair, over 350 children who did not have birth certificates received this significant document, which made them full members of the society.
Children’s Fair took place in central stadium of the Panj district with participation of the representatives of the local authority, guests from Dushanbe and local people who came to celebrate and support fulfilments of children’s rights. The Children’s Fair has been carried out within the framework of the project “Protecting Children Affected by Migration in Southeast, South and Central Asia”.
The “Protecting Children Affected by Migration in Southest, South and Central Asia” project is aimed to support children and families affected by migration in 16 districts of Tajikistan. Within the framework of this project, our partners working at districts level have identified 3131 children affected by migration and begun assisting over 200 families with obtaining birth certificates, identity documents, legal and social counselling. Six pilot Social Assistance at Home Units (SAHU) were supported with furniture and IT equipment needed to help with the transformation of SAHU into Centres for Social Services Provision. About 92 SAHU para social workers have been oriented on issues related to childhood statelessness, migration, child protection, and psycho-social protection. Up-to-date, 2273 children obtained birth certificates and 1592 of them received financial support to get it.
Over the next two years, the project will continue supporting children affected by migration, including migrating children and children who have been left behind by parents or caregivers migrating in search for better economic opportunities to support their families.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF operates in Tajikistan since 1993.
To receive more information about UNICEF and our work in Tajikistan, please visit https://www.unicef.org/tajikistan/