Government officials and young people discuss Strategy and Action Plan on Children’s Access to Justice in Uzbekistan

Adolescents’ views on how to improve access to justice for children are conveyed to decision makers

05 December 2023
UNICEF
UNICEF

TASHKENT, 5 December 2023 – Today, deputies of the Legislative Chamber and members of the Senate of Oliy Majlis, government officials, civil society, international organizations as well as young people will discuss access to justice for children across Uzbekistan.

Under the current stage of the rule of law reforms in Uzbekistan, children are not considered as a separate priority. Yet access to justice for children, requires the legal empowerment of every child and must consider their age, maturity, and evolving capacity.

Reforming access to justice for children were repeatedly highlighted in the concluding observations and recommendations of the UN Committee on Children’s Rights for Uzbekistan.

Partners will discuss a draft Strategy and Action Plan on Children’s Access to Justice. The strategy is expected to lay the grounds for a more specialized child justice system and the introduction of non-judicial measures for children who have committed offences.

Key tenets of this strategy include:

  • Development and adoption of comprehensive legal frameworks on enhancing access to justice for children.
  • Ensuring specialization of criminal and civil justice and making legal procedures and avenues more child friendly.
  • Strengthening inter-agency cooperation to ensure equal access to justice for all children.
  • Ensuring provision of timely and qualified legal aid to children in contact with the law.
  • Enhancing prevention of offending among children and the use deprivation of liberty as a measure of last resort.

A key step forward in advancing children’s access to justice has been the establishment of an inter-ministerial working group under the leadership of the Ministry of Justice, which initiated the development of a strategy and action plan on enhancing children’s access to justice.

"Creating a legal system that is fair for children and is fully compatible with their interests is the ultimate goal of all of us. It is our duty to ensure unified law-making process to achieve this goal," said Sherzod Rabiyev, Deputy Minister of Justice.

The current roundtable was preceded by a vital consultation of children aged 14-17 years, on how to improve access to justice for children in Uzbekistan. Recommendations and proposals from children and young people will be part of the feedback.

“Children have the same right to access justice as adults do. To ensure this, justice systems must cater to the needs, age, vulnerabilities, maturity, gender, circumstances, and specific rights of children”, said Antonia Luedeke, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF Uzbekistan. “Children’s experience in justice systems and how justice systems treat children have direct impact not only on fulfilling and protecting child rights immediately but also on whether a child will trust justice institutions in the future”, she added.

To improve children's access to justice in Uzbekistan, it is also important to strengthen the role of the Commissioner for Children's Rights (Children's Ombudsman) and close collaboration with the respective state bodies.

“Children's access to justice is not only about strengthening the judicial system to respond appropriately to the complex situations faced by children from different groups, but also requires working on a comprehensive approach in this process. That is, it requires further specialization of social workers and special specialists who work with children in the justice system, as well as close cooperation between the justice system and the social protection, health and education systems”, said Surayyo Rahmonova, Children's Ombudsman of Oliy Majlis.  

For more information, please contact: 

Boburjon Donaev

Officer in charge of the Department of Law Enforcement

Ministry of Justice

 

Phone: +998947089077

E-mail: boburjondonayev@gmail.com

 

Safinas Ahayeva

Child Protection Specialist

UNICEF Uzbekistan

 

Phone: +99893 550-5282

E-mail:

sahayeva@unicef.org

 

Nargiza Egamberdieva

Communication Officer

UNICEF Uzbekistan

 

Phone: +99893 3803419

E-mail: negamberdieva@unicef.org

Media contacts

Nargiza Egamberdieva
Communication Officer
UNICEF Uzbekistan
Tel: +99893 380 34 19

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