Information on the Compliance with International Human Rights Obligations of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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2020 has been a complex and challenging year for the world community, still today, the whole of humanity is experiencing the scourge of a coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic is costing the global economy about USD 400
billion a month. To date, 500 million jobs have been lost worldwide.


The negative consequences of the pandemic crisis did not go unnoticed in Uzbekistan. Last year, natural and man-made disasters in Bukhara and Sardoba also tested the population once again. The coronavirus pandemic has had extremely negative consequences for people, communities, and states worldwide.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted human rights, especially on the rights of vulnerable groups - children, women, the elderly, people with disabilities, migrants, and prisoners.

 

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put it, “Governments today need to be more transparent, flexible, and accountable than ever. The availability of an optimal space for civil society activities and freedom of the press is crucial. Public organizations and the private sector play an important role.” It should be noted that no state alone can withstand a pandemic. Therefore, the special resolution of the UN General Assembly on April 2, 2020, "Global solidarity in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) 2019," emphasizes the issue of international cooperation.


The effectiveness of anti-crisis measures taken by states largely depends on the regular exchange of reliable information and the experience of national human rights institutions in participating in the fight against COVID-19.


Several historical events took place in 2020-2021. In particular, at the UN General Assembly, Uzbekistan was elected to a three-year term to the UN Human Rights Council by a majority vote for the first time in history. The US State Department also removed Uzbekistan from the list of "countries under special surveillance" regarding religious freedom and acknowledged the country's achievements in combating human trafficking.

 

On October 24, 2021, for the first time in our country, elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan were held based on the new Electoral Code. All necessary precautions were taken at the polling stations to protect the population’s health due to the ongoing pandemic to ensure the safety of voters and other participants in the election process. District and precinct election commissions received 12.7 million disposable medical masks, 21,500 liters of antiseptics, and other protective gear and disinfectants. More than 142,000 members of election commissions have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.


To bring international elections in line with international standards in 2021, amendments to the Electoral Code have allowed voting for citizens of Uzbekistan residing abroad, regardless of whether they have a consular account with their respective diplomatic missions.

 

Despite the quarantine guidelines, there was high voter turn out in Uzbekistan’s Presidential elections; 16,212,343 voters, including overseas Uzbek voters. This was 80.4% of the total number of eligible voters. Sixty-four thousand four hundred fifty (64,450) representatives from the five political parties and citizens' self-government bodies participated as election observers. For the first time, 207 polling stations in districts and cities around the country were broadcasted live online via 414 video cameras installed at these polling stations. More than a thousand international and foreign observers, representatives of the world media acknowledged that the election of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held in the spirit of democracy and competition, lawful and fair, open, impartiality, and transparency.


The National Human Rights Strategy of the Republic of Uzbekistan was adopted. Its preparation was envisaged in the Address of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Oliy Majlis. This document aims to address the effective implementation of the international obligations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of human rights, which is an essential step towards ensuring human rights and freedoms.


A system for monitoring the quality and effectiveness of the National Human Rights Strategy has been established. The National Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights (hereinafter - the Center) conducts regular monitoring and submits reports to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis, the Presidential Administration, and the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.


In accordance with the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated December 10, 2018 No. PP-4056 and the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated June 22, 2020 No. PF- 6012 "On approval of the National Human Rights Strategy of the Republic of Uzbekistan", the Centre prepared information on the status of compliance with international obligations on human rights in Uzbekistan.

 

The Resolution addresses the implementation of international treaties of Uzbekistan in the field of human rights and freedoms and the implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy for 2020-2021. Also, the Resolution of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan (No. 270-IV of May 5, 2020) "On the status of compliance with international obligations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of human rights" and the Resolution of the Senate (May 11, 2020, Resolution No. 82-IV), "On the status of compliance with international obligations on human rights."