Uzbekistan: national trainings address international law on economic, social and cultural rights issues

Today, the ICJ, the Regional office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for Central Asia and the High School of Judges of the Republic of Uzbekistan (HSJ) are organizing a national training on “International law on economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights.”

This two-day training is one of series of similar trainings, held in 2019 and 2020, that will address international law on issues including rights to healthcare, education, housing and rights in the workplace.

The training sessions aim to build the capacity of judges, lawyers, prosecutors, legal academics and other representatives of the civil society on international standards on ESC rights, to share best practices on compliance by States with their international obligations, including through judicial practices related to ensuring access to justice for ESC rights.

The training sessions ensure diversity and networking opportunities between members of the judiciary and others legal practitioners.

Each training consists of four modules on (1) introduction to international law on ESC rights; (2) International obligations concerning access to justice and remedies for ESC rights in national courts; comparative examples of good practice; (3) Children’s ESC rights and (4) Women’s ESC rights.

Head of the EU Delegation in Uzbekistan Ambassador Eduards Stiprais pointed out, “Uzbekistan is taking serious international commitments to align its legislation with international norms and practices. Under Uzbekistan Constitution, these international commitments take precedence over the national law. They will reinforce the rights of Uzbekistan citizens and international investors. This will boost the economic and social development of the nation, but it will also put high demands to the judiciary system to ensure that its decisions fully comply with international norms and offer remedies against all breaches.”

Ryszard Komenda, OHCHR Regional Representative for Central Asia, noted that “Uzbekistan since 1995 has committed itself to ensure implementation of provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

To date, Uzbekistan has already submitted three national periodic reports on implementation of the Covenant. The third national report was submitted in June 2019 and will be reviewed after 2020.

The UN Committee, tasked to oversee states’ compliance with their commitments under the ICESCR, has issued a number of recommendations for Uzbekistan.

Many of them highlight the instrumental role of training on economic, social and cultural rights as a means to build capacity of state actors to respect, protect and fulfil human rights.

Only through comprehensive understanding of the content of each right and realizing that all human rights are interrelated, indivisible and interdependent, it will be possible to guarantee holistic implementation of existing international human rights obligations of Uzbekistan”.

“These trainings are an important part of capacity building which is essential in ensuring the effectiveness of the reform of the judiciary,” said Róisín Pillay, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director of the ICJ.

“It is vital to build capacity of different actors of the justice system: members of the judiciary, law enforcement agencies, lawyers and civil society, to ensure a greater impact. Together with the OHCHR and the Supreme School of Judges and the great support of the EU Delegation in Uzbekistan, we could provide the space necessary for learning about international human rights law and, in particular, its various aspects related to economic, social and cultural rights,” she added.

The Director of the Higher School of Judges briefly spoke about the activities of the Supreme School of Judges (SSJ), and also noted the recent arrival of the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mr. Diego Garcia Sayan, who paid special attention to the establishment of the SSJ, along with other judiciary reforms in Uzbekistan.

“The international seminar in which we have gathered today gives us the opportunity to establish networking with other organizations and bodies through promotion of economic, social and cultural rights. The exchange of ideas and experience in the necessity of the modern world, for the mutual development of the judiciary, education and the society as such,” said Khodji-Murod Isakov, the Director of the Higher School of Judges.

The national trainings are organized in the framework of project “Advancing Civil Society in Promoting ESCR Standards (ACCESS)” funded by EU through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

There will be two more similar trainings in 2020 and all trainings materials at the end will be translated into Russian and Uzbek languages for further reference and use. Moreover, the trainings materials will be publicly available in 2020 for wider outreach and promotion of international law and ESC rights standards.


Dilfuza Kurolova, ICJ Legal consultant, t: +998 90 9050099 ; e: dilfuza.kurolova(a)


Uzbekistan-National Training ESCR-News-2019-ENG (full story in PDF)

International law on economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights (4 training modules in Russian – PDF).

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