UNICEF, NASP and Ministry of Justice call on swift and decisive national action to enact the Law on Ending all Forms of Violence Against Children
TASHKENT, 10 October 2023 – Today the National Agency for Social Protection (NASP), the Ministry of Justice and UNICEF called for swift and decisive national action to enact the draft Law for the Protection of Children from all Forms of Violence- which will be a dedicated law on the protection of children from all forms of violence, as a crucial first step to creating a safer and more nurturing environment for the children of Uzbekistan.
The calls came during a high-level national roundtable hosted in Tashkent. The national round table convened policymakers, legal experts, child protection advocates, civil society organizations, and international organizations.
“Violence is not just a serious violation of human rights, it has an impact on the rest of a child’s life. We want to break the silence regarding this acute problem, change the attitudes in society due to which it still exists,” said First Deputy Director of the NASP Shakhnoza Mirziyoyeva.
A dedicated law on ending violence augurs well with recent amendments to Uzbekistan’s criminal code in Uzbekistan, which enhanced the legal protection from violence for girls, boys, and women. Further, a dedicated law on the protection of children from all forms of violence will provide for the development and implementation of multi-sectoral services to prevent and respond to violence.
Current data globally show that every year, more than 1 billion children worldwide experience physical, emotional, or sexual violence. The recent MICS study showed that 2 in 3 children aged 1-14 (62%) in Uzbekistan experienced violent disciplining methods (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) and 33% of girls 15-19 years believe a husband is justified in beating his wife.
Overall, once the law is adopted, it will benefit girls and boys across Uzbekistan through improved safety, stronger legal safeguards, and enhanced support systems like family counselling, mental health and psychosocial support, life skills education, and access to safe shelter, to ensure their wellbeing and protection from violence, fear and harm.
Speaking at the high-level round table, which fostered a multi-stakeholder dialogue to examine key provisions of the and to identify potential areas for improvement and enhancement, UNICEF Regional Director, Regina De Dominicis on her inaugural visit to Tashkent, said, “This law, if enacted has the power to shape the lives of the children of Uzbekistan, to protect them, to nurture them, and to enable them to reach their potential.” She added that, “it is vital that the language and intent of the draft, reflects the highest standards of child protection, that is not merely words on paper but a transformative force for the lives of all children in Uzbekistan.”
The draft law is a culmination of extensive working group meetings with line ministers under the leadership of the Ministry of Justice and the roundtable is the latest exercise in rigor, ensuring that key parties have a deeper understanding of the draft law's implications and potential impact on child protection. Further participants will identify strengths and weaknesses in the proposed legislation based on a comparative analysis and assessment of compliance with international standards, this in turn will lead to recommendations for amendments or improvements to the draft law.
For more information, please contact:
National Agency on Social Protection
Phone: +99890 942 46 44
Public Relations Department
Ministry of Justice
Phone: +99899 843 08 28
Phone: +99893 380 34 19