A First Ever Child-Friendly Investigation Room is Established in Turkmenistan
Minimizing the Trauma to Children During Investigation Process
Ashgabat, 25th of April 2023 – The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan and UNICEF inaugurated the first-ever child-friendly room for investigations at Kopetdag police office of Ashgabat city to strengthen measures to protect girls and boys who have been victims or witnesses of potential crime.
The room provides a safe and non-intimidating environment for children considering their age, maturity and psychological state. It was established with support from UNICEF and based on international best practices.
“We cannot allow children to be afraid and stressed when they participate in investigation proceedings,” said Geldimyrat Haldurdieyev, head of the department of law and international relations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Therefore, we make efforts to ensure that the procedures on child-friendly justice are applied in daily practice by our investigators involved in the interrogation (or interviewing) of child victims and witnesses of crime.”
To create a protective environment for children in the investigation process, especially to minimize the trauma, the child-friendly room is equipped with a modern video and sound system. This will help avoid the unnecessary repetition of interrogations and lead to stronger evidence in the criminal investigation process. The introduction of information and communication technologies ensures the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of child victims and witnesses of crime.
“Trauma resulting from a crime can have serious consequences for children, with significant impacts on their growth and development,” said Mohammad Fayyazi, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan. It is very important that in the pre-trial the protection measures are ensured for child victims and witnesses of crime. This facilitates their return to normal life as soon as possible.” Mr. Fayyazi added that “UNICEF is ready to further cooperate with partner agencies and entities in order to implement these measures.”
UNICEF has been working closely with the Ministry to ensure that special child protection measures are in compliance with international justice for children standards. The opening of the special child-friendly room for investigations at the Ministry is also in line with the 2016 Law of Turkmenistan on State Protection of Victims and Witnesses.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and UNICEF will continue close collaboration to strengthen the legislative framework and enhance special measures of legal safeguards for child victims and witnesses of crime. Further, plans include continuous capacity building of the investigators of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at etrap level and the development of methodological guidelines on dealing with the cases of children in contact with the law.
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.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.