Uzbekistan: ICJ event points to the important role of civil society in human rights treaty body reviews

Civil society should play an active role in the UN treaty bodies reviews of Uzbekistan’s human rights record, an ICJ event in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, emphasised.

Civil society organisations and human rights defenders can provide independent analysis of how rights are protected in Uzbekistan, to inform the UN Treaty Bodies review of how the state complies with its human rights obligations, the event heard.

The expert discussion, on 20 December, was organised by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in partnership with the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia (ROCA), the Nationwide movement “Yuksalish”, and the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan (NCHR).

The Expert Discussion “the UN Treaty Bodies’ reporting system: the important role of civil society”, focused on the States reporting procedure before the UN Treaty Bodied and the role of  civil society in it. The upcoming reports of Uzbekistan before the UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN CESCR) and the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (UN CEDAW) were discussed and CSOs were encouraged to participate actively in these procedures.

The event brought together national and international stakeholders, including civil society members, State bodies involved in Uzbekistan’s State reporting, and international experts including Aslan Abashidze, Vice-President of the UN CESCR.

Uzbekistan is a State party to most of the key UN human rights treaties, including, the Internaitonal Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Internaitonal covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatiment (CAT), and the Convenion on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) amongst others.

While Uzbekistan is a party to these human rights treaties, significant problems remain in the protection of human rights in practice in Uzbekistan. Stronger civil society involvement in the process can help to support  the UN treaty bodies in addressing these problems in their recommendations, and in ensuring such recommendations are fully implemented.  The event therefore sought to raise awarness of national stakeholders about the reporting procedure before UN treaty bodies and to discuss ways to enhance the role of a civil society in Uzbekistan in the reporting procedure.

Earlier this year, Uzbekistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which has created further space for the engagement of the civil society in Uzbekistan’s reporting before the UN Treaty Bodies, as Uzbekistan is to report for the first time one year after the ratification of the CRPD.

The event is organized in the framework of “Enhancing the Quality of Uzbekistan’s Application of international Law (EQUAL)” Project funded by the EU through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and implemented by the ICJ. The event was also supported by the Swiss Embassy to Uzbekistan.

You can watch the even here.

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