First ever child-friendly investigation room opened in criminal court
Facility will help minimize the trauma for children in court proceedings.
TASHKENT, 18 February 2020 – The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan and UNICEF introduced the first-ever child-friendly interview room for investigation at the trial stage. It has been established at the Shaykhantahur district criminal court of Tashkent city.
The room provides safe and non-intimidating environment for children as per their age, maturity and psychological condition. To minimize the trauma, this child-friendly room is equipped with modern video and sound system. This will help avoid any contacts with defendant and other participants when the child is participating in the court hearings.
“Opening of this child-friendly room at the trial stage is a major step towards addressing recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which asked Uzbekistan to ensure protection measures for children in contact with the law,” said Sascha Graumann, Representative, UNICEF Uzbekistan. “If we have to protect a child who has been a victim or witness of a crime from any secondary traumatization, we have to make sure of at least two things. Firstly, the environment for interview or investigation should be comfortable. And secondly, at the court hearing, the child should not come in contact with any person like the accused, perpetrator and any other person except the judge,” he added.
In accordance with the International Justice for Children Standards, special protection measures should be provided to child victims and witnesses at all stages – during pre-trial, trial and post-trial. This means that laws should restrict the number of interviews of these vulnerable children during justice procedures.
“In the ongoing reforms, Uzbekistan is taking steps to further enhance the protection of child victims and witnesses of crime. This is in line with good international practices,” said Kazimdjon Komilov, Chairperson, the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan.
UNICEF works closely with the Government of Uzbekistan to strengthen the rule of law, particularly in the field of justice for children. We are promoting specialization of justice professionals who work with children in contact with the law. We are developing guidelines for conducting interviews with child victims and witnesses.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.uz