United Nations

E/C.12/UZB/2

Economic and Social Council

Distr.: General

29 October 2012

English

Original: Russian

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Second periodic report submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant

Uzbekistan*,**

[2 July 2010]

Contents

Paragraphs Page

Acronyms3

I.Introduction1–394

II.Common core document40–3139

A.General information about the reporting State40–1339

1.Demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics of the State40–559

2.Constitutional, political and legal structure56–13321

B. General framework for the protection and promotion of human rights134–29533

1.Adoption of international human rights standards33

2.Legal framework for the protection of human rights at the national level134–22937

3.Framework for promoting human rights at the national level230–28149

4.Reporting process at the national level282–29556

C.Information on non-discrimination and equality and effective remedies296–31358

III.Information on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights314–97761

Article 1.Right to self-determination314–33461

Article 2.Main thrusts of the implementation of the Covenant335–37362

Article 3.Ensuring parity between men and women374–43968

Article 4.Prohibition of subjecting citizens’ rights to unwarranted limitations440–45675

Article 5.Means of exercising the right to judicial protection of civil rights and freedoms457–47178

Article 6.Right to work472–53580

Article 7.Just and favourable conditions of work536–57187

Article 8.Right to form trade unions572–60490

Article 9.Right to social security605–65294

Article 10.Social protection of the family, mothers and children653–714100

Article 11.Right to an adequate standard of living715–770107

Article 12.Right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health771–855114

Articles 13 and 14. Right to education856–925122

Article 15.Right to take part in cultural life926–977128

Annexes

Acronyms

ADBAsian Development Bank

GDPGross Domestic Product

HIV/AIDSHuman immunodeficiency virus/Acquired immune deficiency syndrome

ICRCInternational Committee of the Red Cross

ILOInternational Labour Organization

NGONon-Governmental organization

OPECOrganization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme

UNESCOUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNICEFUnited Nations Children’s Fund

USSRUnion of Soviet Socialist Republics

I.Introduction

1.Τhe key feature of economic, social and cultural rights is that support for those rights fulfils needs vital to every person and indispensable to normal activities in life. The rights in question largely depend on the level of a State’s economic and social development. Safeguarding those rights requires considerable time and material resources as well as active pursuit of a decent standard of living for the population.

2. From the first days of independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, there has been a growing understanding that civil and political rights may be realized only if equal opportunities to meet essential needs in terms of food, housing, health care and employment are enjoyed by all.

3. The fulfilment of economic, social and cultural rights is a priority for the Uzbek State and society. In the period 2006-2010, efforts in this area took place in the context of significant strides towards building a democratic State based on the rule of law and formulating economic and social policies designed to offset the effects of the global economic and financial crisis, with primary regard for the economic and social rights of low-income and vulnerable social groups.

4.That period saw the adoption of measures to consolidate the legal framework and machinery for realizing political, economic, social and cultural rights, to update the legislation on the rights of citizens to education, medical care, social benefits, jobs and leisure activities and to promote physical fitness and sport. Legislative amendments and supplements designed to strengthen the legal safeguards of those rights were adopted, particularly in the form of new versions of the Disabled People’s Social Welfare Act, the Citizens’ Pensions Act, the Education Act, the Occupational Safety Act, and the Employment Act.

5. During the same period, the reform of the judicial system continued as follows:

(a)Capital punishment was abolished as from 1 January 2008 and replaced with life or long-term imprisonment, while Uzbekistan acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

(b)As from 1 January 2008, habeas corpus has been instituted in Uzbekistan. The power to order pretrial detention was transferred from procuratorial offices to the courts, thus strengthening judicial control over the observance of human rights in pretrial investigations.

(c)The Human Trafficking Prevention Act has been adopted, establishing a set of institutions for combating human trafficking; the Criminal Code has been supplemented by an article 135, “Human trafficking”, which defines this offence and outlines penalties for the offenders; a national plan of action for intensifying the struggle against human trafficking, 2008-2010 has been adopted; and a national centre for the rehabilitation of trafficking victims has been set up.

(d)Through amendments and supplements to the Legal Counsel Act, the Legal Practice and Lawyers’ Defence Safeguards Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Administrative Liability Code, the legal profession has been reformed to balance better the procedural rights of the prosecution and the defence, introduce the democratic institution of Miranda rights and make it an offence to obstruct the work of lawyers.

6.In the above period, considerable attention was paid to organizational, legal and financial support for Uzbekistan’s national human rights institutions. Specifically, a number of amendments and additions were made in 2009 to the Act on the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, the Act on the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Penal Enforcement Code, in order to strengthen legal safeguards of the powers of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis (Parliamentary Ombudsman) to consider citizens’ complaints and petitions.

7.As part of the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008, a special Government decision on a set of measures for State support for national human rights institutions has helped to build the technical and human resources and capacities of the Ombudsman and the National Centre for Human Rights.

8.Uzbekistan has continued to work towards developing an active civil society and creating a partnership between the State and society. To that purpose:

(a)A bicameral parliament has been set up and is functioning effectively, cooperating actively with political parties, non-profit NGOs and civil society organizations;

(b)An important event in Uzbek political life — elections to the Oliy Majlis and local legislative bodies in 2009 — attested to the democratic nature of the electoral system and the political activism of voters;

(c)The following legislative acts were adopted: the Act on Strengthening the Role of Political Parties in the Renewal and Further Democratization of Governance and in the Modernization of Uzbekistan, of 11 April 2007, which set up procedures whereby political parties can monitor appointments to the highest positions in the executive branch; and the Non-Governmental Non-Profit Organizations Safeguards Act, under which NGOs are eligible for State aid in the form of procurement of services, grants and subsidies.

(d)On 3 July 2007, by joint decision of the Oliy Majlis Legislative Chamber and Senate on measures enhancing support for non-profit NGOs and other civil society bodies, the Public Support Fund for Non-Governmental Non-Profit Organizations and Other Civil Society Institutions and a Parliamentary Commission for managing the finances of the Fund were created and attached to the Oliy Majlis.

9.The extensive celebrations in Uzbekistan of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were a remarkable event. A presidential decree of 1 May 2008 on that event approved a programme of action outlining a range of legislative, organizational and educational measures that were carried out during the year. In 2008, on the recommendation of treaty bodies, legislation was adopted on Uzbekistan’s accession to ILO Conventions No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

10.Each year of progress corroborates the validity and soundness of the Uzbek model of transition to a socially oriented free-market economy. The model relies on the following five well-known principles: freedom from ideologies, pragmatic economic policy founded on precedence of the economy over politics, role of the State as main reformer, rule of law, and effective social policy with gradual, step-by-step reforms.

11.Uzbekistan’s prudent and comprehensively worked-out policy on reform, liberalization and modernization of, primarily, the country’s economy and on diversification of its structures has built an effective barrier and a durable and reliable buffer which offer protection against the negative impact of crises and other threats.

12.In the second half of 2008, once it was clear that Uzbekistan, as part of the global economy, was increasingly exposed to harsh consequences of the global crisis, a programme of anti-crisis measures, 2009-2012, was formulated, taking into account the specific situation and particularities of the country’s economy.

13. Once approved and adopted, that programme, designed to avert and neutralize the consequences of the global economic crisis, has currently been entrusted to specific implementing entities at the sectoral and regional levels. A Government commission and local groups have been set up to ensure strict monitoring of programme implementation.

14.In 2009, President Islam Karimov published a book entitled The Global Economic and Financial Crisis: ways and measures for overcoming it under the conditions prevailing in Uzbekistan to explain and discuss the future course of the global crisis, which had set in 2008. The book addresses the impact of the crisis on the Uzbek economy and factors that may attenuate that impact, and outlines specific measures for boosting the country’s social and economic development through the aforementioned anti-crisis programme.

15.The Government is committed to ensuring that effective measures are adopted to mitigate the effects of the global crisis on the people and that a timely preventive policy is implemented to protect the economy, social institutions and human rights from the negative impact of the crisis on the well-being of the population, in particular the vulnerable social groups — women, children, disabled persons and retirees.

16.The social focus of the reforms undertaken in the country and the system of legal, organizational, social and economic measures that has been developed to ensure social protection through annual State programmes of support for the population groups in need have been crucial to attenuating the negative effects of the global crisis on Uzbekistan’s economic development.

17.Thus, Uzbek Sum (SUM) 483,600 million were allocated to various forms of social assistance in 2007, Year of Social Protection; SUM 1,248 billion were spent in 2008, Year of Young Persons; SUM 2,612 billion were spent in 2009, Year of Rural Development and Improvement; and SUM 1,700 billion were earmarked for spending in 2010, Year of a harmoniously Developed Generation.

18.In Uzbekistan, an adequate safety margin and the necessary resource base have been secured for the steady and smooth operation of the economic, financial, budgetary, banking and credit system and of the sectors and enterprises of the real economy.

19.The total assets of commercial banks, including currently the reserves set aside pursuant to the Citizens’ Bank-Deposits Protection Guarantees Act, exceed SUM 13,360 billion and are equal to 2.4 times the volume of personal and business deposits. In view of the significant increase in the volume of the country’s banking assets, the State currently guarantees 100 per cent of all bank deposits of the population.

20.In 2008, GDP grew to 109 per cent and industrial production attained 112.7 per cent (117.7 per cent in the case of consumer goods), while the services sector output increased by 21.3 per cent.

21.The Government budget has been over-executed. Instead of an expected deficit, a surplus equal to 1.5 per cent of GDP has been achieved.

22.In 2008, average wages increased by more than 150 per cent in budget-funded organizations and by 140 per cent in the economy as a whole. In real terms, the population’s annual income increased by 23 per cent. In 2009, average wages increased by 140 per cent in the budget-funded and business sectors. Inflation has been kept within the bounds of 7-9 per cent.

23.Despite the crisis, the State has accorded priority to building and launching facilities in the social sector. Such projects have comprised the construction of 169 new vocational secondary schools (colleges) for 113,200 students, 23 academic secondary schools (lycées) for 14,700 students and 69 new schools; and major reconstruction in the case of 582 schools, 184 children’s sport facilities, 26 rural medical centres and 7,240,000 square meters of housing.

24.Measures were adopted to reduce further the tax burden on businesses and the uniform tax rate for microenterprises and small enterprises from 10 to 8 and, as from 2009, to 7 per cent.

25.In Uzbekistan, the economy functions in a stable manner at high growth rates, while inflation has been kept within the bounds of forecast indicators. It has also been possible to raise the level of wages and direct 50 per cent of investment towards modernization and technical upgrading of processing. The State pays special attention to agriculture; and considerable funds — approximately SUM 1 trillion in 2008, and SUM 1.2 trillion in 2009 — are channelled into agricultural production.

26.Significant new approaches to employment consist in the development of small enterprises, private initiative and the services sector; the introduction of various forms of home-based work; and the promotion of livestock breeding in rural areas. In 2008, the contribution of small enterprises to GDP attained 48.2 per cent. More than 76 per cent of the gainfully employed work in that sector.

27.Of the approximately 661,000 jobs generated in 2008, more than 374,000 were created in the small business sector, approximately 220,000 in the services sector, and approximately 97,800 in the sector of home-based work. In 2009, 932,600 new jobs were created, 1.4 times as many as in 2008.

28.In the period 2006-2010, intensive efforts continued to be made in order to raise awareness of issues addressed in the Covenant among civil servants, socio-economic system workers, NGOs and the population at large. Emphasis was placed on the economic, social and cultural rights of women, children, young, older, or disabled persons, and national minorities. A series of conferences and seminars were held on women’s and children’s rights, the legal protection of vulnerable social groups, and NGO participation in taking on socially beneficial tasks.

29.Thus, on 17 September 2008, the Committee on Democratic Institutions, Non‑Governmental Organizations and Citizens’ self-governance bodies of the Legislative Chamber and the National Centre for Human Rights in cooperation with the OSCE Project‑Coordinator in Uzbekistan, organized a round table on “Strengthening social partnerships between NGOs and State structures: new mechanisms for financing NGO activities”. Seminar participants, including deputies and senators, and representatives of ministries, departments, political parties and NGOs, highlighted the need to adopt the Social Partnership Act.

30.On 11 September 2009, the National Centre for Human Rights and UNDP organized a round table on “The global economic and financial crisis and issues involved in an improvement of the law on free legal counsel in Uzbekistan”. The round table discussed the expanding free legal assistance to low-income and disabled persons, orphans, and women victims of human trafficking or violence through the adoption of the Free Legal Counsel Act.

31. On 26-27 November 2009, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children in cooperation with UNDP and UNESCO organized in international forum on “Moving from childhood to adulthood: social protection, social work, social integration”. On 31 November-1 December 2009, the Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan in cooperation with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) held an international conference on “Employment, the labour market and workforce mobility”.

32.Information and education on issues involving economic, social and cultural rights are provided through, inter alia, publications. In particular, in 2009 a book entitled The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the National System for the Protection of Human Rights was published together with a series of brochures on the realization of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, in the country.

33.Uzbekistan is cooperating with United Nations treaty bodies in the area of human rights as follows:

In 2006, the following national reports were considered: third to fifth periodic reports on the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; second periodic report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and second and third periodic reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;

In 2007, Uzbekistan’s third periodic report on its implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was considered;

In 2008, the Human Rights Council considered Uzbekistan’s national report as part of the universal periodic review mandated by Council resolution 5/1, adopted on 20 March 2009;

The following national reports have been prepared and transmitted to the respective committees: fourth periodic report on the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; third periodic report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and sixth and seventh periodic reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;

In 2009, Uzbekistan’s third and fourth periodic reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child were prepared and submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child; and the following reports were considered: fourth periodic report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and third periodic report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Consideration of the sixth and seventh periodic reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was scheduled for August of the same year.

34. Uzbekistan pays special attention to the concluding observations and recommendations adopted by the United Nations treaty bodies following consideration of its periodic reports. For each of these documents, a national plan of action aimed at implementing the recommendations is adopted and includes measures designed to ensure the exercise of economic, social and cultural human rights. The National Plan of Action for the implementation of recommendations formulated by the United Nations Human Rights Council following consideration of Uzbekistan’s national report for the Universal Periodic Review was adopted and translated into Uzbek and English in 2009. It contains, in the chapter on the rights of children and women, measures for ensuring the economic and social rights of women, children, disabled persons, and human trafficking victims.

35.This report contains detailed information on the legal, organizational, informational and awareness-raising measures designed to facilitate the realization of economic, social and cultural rights. The report provides information on the application of the National Plan of Action for the implementation of recommendations formulated by the Committee following consideration, in 2005, of Uzbekistan’s initial report on the implementation of the Covenant.

36.The statistical data in the report concern primarily the period 2006-2009. Statistical indicators for 2010 will be provided on the basis of further questions raised by members of the Committee regarding the report.

37.In drawing up this report, account was taken of general comments Nos. 1-15 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights; general comments Nos. 4 (Equal enjoyment of civil and political rights by men and women), 6 (Right to life), 17 (Rights of the child), 19 (The family), 23 (Rights of minorities) and 28 (Equality of rights between men and women) of the Human Rights Committee; and the relevant general comments of other United Nations treaty bodies.

38.This report was prepared on the basis of the provisions of article 16 of the Covenant and on the new compilation of guidelines on the form and content of reports to be submitted by States parties to the international human rights treaties.

39.This report is the work of a working group, more than 30 State bodies, key ministries and departments engaged in State regulation of the economic, social and cultural sectors, and more than 20 NGOs actively participating in the implementation of State programmes on issues related to the social protection of various categories of citizens.

II.Common core document

A.General information about the reporting State

1.Demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics of the State

40. The Republic of Uzbekistan is situated in Central Asia between the region’s two biggest rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya. It borders Kazakhstan to the north and north-east, Turkmenistan to the south-west, Afghanistan to the south, Tajikistan to the south-east and Kyrgyzstan to the north-east. Approximately four fifths of Uzbekistan are made up of desert plains; the eastern and south-eastern regions include the hills and foothills of Tien Shan and the Gissar range. Within the Turan plate lie the Ustyurt plateau, the Amu Darya delta on the southern shore of the Aral Sea and the enormous Kyzylkum desert. The climate is extreme continental.

41.The country has a total area of 447,400 square kilometres and comprises the Republic of Karakalpakstan, 12 provinces (viloyat) and the City of Tashkent, 121 towns and cities and 163 rural districts. The population is 27.5 million. The capital is Tashkent.

Historical survey

42. The first historical information about the settlement of Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, dates to the middle of the first millennium B.C. In the sixth century B.C., Central Asia was under the rule of Persia’s Achaemenid dynasty; in the fourth century B.C., that dynasty was conquered by Alexander the Great. The territory of Uzbekistan, in its entirety or in part, was subsequently ruled by the great States of antiquity: the descendants of Alexander the Great and Seleucus Nikator (fourth to third centuries B.C.); the Graeco‑Baktrian Empire (third to second centuries B.C.); and the powerful central Indian State of Kushanov (late first to fourth century A.D.).

43.Various cultures and civilizations helped to shape the Uzbek race, with its Turkic roots, into the titular nation. The historical development of the Uzbeks took place in a context of close contacts and intermingling with the Iranian peoples and culture.

44. Central Asia, including the land that is now Uzbekistan, was conquered by the Arabs in the eighth century and was added to the possessions of the Arab Caliphate. Islam was introduced in the wake of this conquest. The new religion spread quickly, although the people held on to some aspects of Zoroastrianism and certain other religions (Buddhism, Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity). The spread of Islam led to the absorption of the region into the area of Islamic civilization.

45. In the late ninth century, the reign of the Arabs was replaced by the rule of local dynasties. From the ninth to the twelfth centuries, the territory of Uzbekistan was ruled by the Samanid, Karakhan and Seljuk States.

46.In the early thirteenth century, Central Asia (along with Azerbaijan and Persia) was briefly part of the Khwarezm-Shah dynasty, which was brought down by the hordes of Genghis Khan. Soon after, power shifted to the Timurid dynasty (established by Tamerlane). During this period (late fourteenth to the fifteenth centuries), the economy and culture flourished, and Tamerlane made his capital at Samarkand. In the Middle Ages, the Timurid Empire extended over a vast territory, forming a common legal and economic space. This period, and the absolute monarchy that emerged at the time, may be regarded as the foundation for the nationhood of Uzbekistan.

47.At the turn of the sixteenth century, the Timurid Empire was replaced by the Shaybanid Empire, which ruled throughout the sixteenth century. For nearly four centuries, from the sixteenth century until Russia conquered Central Asia in the late nineteenth century, there were three Uzbek khanates in the territory of Uzbekistan: Bukhara (an emirate as from the mid-eighteenth century), Khiva and Kokand.

48.In the late nineteenth century, most of Central Asia, including contemporary Uzbekistan, became part of Russia. The Governorate-General of Turkistan was established.

49.After the Russian revolution, in 1920, the Bukhara and Khorezm People’s Soviet Republics were formed.

50. In 1924, Central Asia was divided up into ethnic States. The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was established on 27 October 1924. Under this ethnic division, the territories populated chiefly by Uzbeks became part of the Uzbek SSR. The Republic housed 82 per cent of all Uzbeks living in the USSR; they made up 76 per cent of the total population of the newly formed Republic. Uzbekistan was part of the USSR for nearly 70 years, and its demographic, social and economic development was influenced by typically Soviet processes.

51.The turning point in the country’s history occurred on 1 September 1991, when Uzbekistan’s independent statehood was proclaimed: on 31 August 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted a decision proclaiming the independent statehood of the Republic of Uzbekistan and a constitutional act on the legal foundations of the independent statehood of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Population

52.The majority of the population (more than 21 million) is Uzbek, a Turkic-speaking people with an ancient and distinctive culture. Uzbekistan is also home to many other peoples, inter alia Kazakhs, Tajiks, Karakalpaks, Kyrgyz, Turkmens, Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Armenians, Koreans and Uigurs.

53.In anthropological terms, the Uzbeks are a people of mixed descent, with both Caucasian and Mongoloid elements. Anthropologists regard the Uzbeks as southern Europeoids of the Central Asian Mesopotamian type. The Uzbek population of the towns and ancient cultivated oases has a comparatively small admixture of Mongoloid features.

54. Uzbek is the official language of Uzbekistan. The literary Uzbek language belongs to the Karluk group of the western branch of the Turkic languages. One of the characteristic features of the Uzbek language is its profound historical links with the Tajik language. The Karakalpak language belongs to the Kipchak group of the Turkic languages.

55.In terms of religious affiliation, Uzbeks and Karakalpaks are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi madhhab (school of law). Typical of Islam in Uzbekistan, and indeed throughout Central Asia, is the merging of orthodox Islam and Islamic mysticism, or Sufism, as well as the presence of some pre-Islamic beliefs.

Demographic indicators

Table 1

Permanent population, by gender and ag e

As at 1 January 2007

As at 1 January 2008

As at 1 January 2009

Both genders

Male

Female

Both genders

Male

Female

Both genders

Male

Female

1-6

3 622 775

1 863 286

1 759 489

3 708 143

1 907 854

1 800 289

3 844 411

1 978 532

1 865 879

7-10

2 246 789

1 151 984

1 094 805

2 144 103

1 098 586

1 045 517

2 057 567

1 054 295

1 003 272

11-15

3 240 838

1 652 233

1 588 605

3 173 144

1 622 014

1 551 130

3 091 497

1 581 859

1 509 638

16-18

1 881 283

957 630

923 653

1 924 162

979 067

945 095

1 969 199

1 002 172

967 027

19-22

2 411 152

1 215 978

1 195 174

2 463 816

1 243 757

1 220 059

2 473 375

1 253 470

1 219 905

23-24

1 023 152

513 436

509 716

1 078 134

542 048

536 086

1 145 638

576 101

569 537

25-30

2 668 442

1 341 465

1 326 977

2 729 732

1 372 240

1 357 492

2 830 707

1 422 262

1 408 445

31-40

3 604 516

1 787 899

1 816 617

3 687 719

1 834 542

1 853 177

3 765 993

1 876 591

1 889 402

41-50

2 982 147

1 456 264

1 525 883

3 051 236

1 486 287

1 564 949

3 098 451

1 508 460

1 589 991

51-60

1 528 393

739 191

789 202

1 653 811

800 051

853 760

1 774 825

858 866

915 959

61-70

795 456

380 045

415 411

773 974

369 260

404 714

778 616

371 521

407 095

71 and older

658 880

266 193

392 687

684 198

279 555

404 643

703 103

288 508

414 595

Total

26 663 823

13 325 604

13 338 219

27 072 172

13 535 261

13 536 911

27 533 382

13 772 637

13 760 745

Table 2

Permanent population, by ethnic groups

As at 1 January 2009

2007

2008

2009

Total

26 663 825

27 072 174

27 533 375

Uzbek

21 542 348

21 962 080

22 418 667

Karakalpak

583 790

593 401

604 382

Russian

931 590

912 959

895 311

Ukrainian

86 854

85 302

83 811

Belarusian

20 851

20 631

20 463

Kazakh

879 551

862 255

855 598

Georgian

3 654

3 646

3 606

Azerbaijani

40 432

40 437

40 538

Lithuanian

1 156

1 146

1 133

Moldovan

4 888

4 852

4 807

Latvian

215

207

206

Kyrgyz

238 322

241 507

244 936

Tajik

1 306 875

1 327 249

1 348 800

Armenian

39 101

38 538

38 139

Turkmen

160 712

162 932

165 582

Estonian

566

550

543

Tatar

236 223

230 572

225 413

Jewish

10 643

10 577

10 412

German

4 861

4 762

4 605

Korean

150 094

147 680

145 609

Other

421 099

420 891

420 834

Table 3

Population up to 18 years of age, by gender

As at 1 January 2007 – Persons

Years of age

Total

Including

Urban areas

Rural areas

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

0

549 889

283 261

266 628

171 181

88 091

83 090

378 708

195 170

183 538

1

523 471

269 608

253 863

161 099

82 892

78 207

362 372

186 716

175 656

2

528 780

271 728

257 052

164 044

84 593

79 451

364 736

187 135

177 601

3

495 794

255 664

240 130

151 692

78 478

73 214

344 102

177 186

166 916

4

518 230

266 701

251 529

158 887

81 849

77 038

359 343

184 852

174 491

5

496 973

255 007

241 966

154 471

79 349

75 122

342 502

175 658

166 844

6

509 638

261 317

248 321

158 349

80 854

77 495

351 289

180 463

170 826

7

524 596

268 452

256 144

163 397

84 012

79 385

361 199

184 440

176 759

8

530 777

271 872

258 905

166 243

85 293

80 950

364 534

186 579

177 955

9

581 634

298 265

283 369

180 792

92 968

87 824

400 842

205 297

195 545

10

609 782

313 395

296 387

191 008

97 927

93 081

418 774

215 468

203 306

11

642 492

328 155

314 337

200 033

101 992

98 041

442 459

226 163

216 296

12

619 684

316 664

303 020

192 191

98 455

93 736

427 493

218 209

209 284

13

643 744

328 565

315 179

195 880

100 319

95 561

447 864

228 246

219 618

14

660 734

337 027

323 707

211 586

108 076

103 510

449 148

228 951

220 197

15

674 184

341 822

332 362

214 056

108 513

105 543

460 128

233 309

226 819

16

641 362

327 049

314 313

203 214

103 714

99 500

438 148

223 335

214 813

17

614 692

313 607

301 085

197 059

100 879

96 180

417 633

212 728

204 905

0-17

21811

13459

12348

9411

11902

8498

15397

11547

14839

Table 4

Population up to 18 years of age, by gender

As at 1 January 2008 – Persons

Years of age

Total

Including

Urban areas

Rural areas

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

0

602 734

310 233

292 501

189 040

97 546

91 494

413 694

212 687

201 007

1

546 549

281 359

265 190

170 326

87 605

82 721

376 223

193 754

182 469

2

522 064

268 807

253 257

160 868

82 730

78 138

361 196

186 077

175 119

3

527 817

271 198

256 619

163 889

84 500

79 389

363 928

186 698

177 230

4

495 100

255 288

239 812

151 642

78 462

73 180

343 458

176 826

166 632

5

517 477

266 262

251 215

158 762

81 763

76 999

358 715

184 499

174 216

6

496 402

254 707

241 695

154 352

79 294

75 058

342 050

175 413

166 637

7

508 882

260 890

247 992

158 228

80 808

77 420

350 654

180 082

170 572

8

523 981

268 113

255 868

163 230

83 914

79 316

360 751

184 199

176 552

9

530 209

271 617

258 592

166 061

85 245

80 816

364 148

186 372

177 776

10

581 031

297 966

283 065

180 589

92 862

87 727

400 442

205 104

195 338

11

609 158

313 061

296 097

190 793

97 815

92 978

418 365

215 246

203 119

12

641 868

327 823

314 045

199 890

101 926

97 964

441 978

225 897

216 081

13

619 060

316 307

302 753

191 954

98 311

93 643

427 106

217 996

209 110

14

643 049

328 199

314 850

195 622

100 183

95 439

447 427

228 016

219 411

15

660 009

336 624

323 385

211 337

107 929

103 408

448 672

228 695

219 977

16

672 982

341 180

331 802

213 922

108 437

105 485

459 060

232 743

226 317

17

639 497

326 077

313 420

203 488

103 810

99 678

436 009

222 267

213 742

0-17

18199

12999

14191

13207

12782

11414

14982

12205

10769

Table 5

Population up to 18 years of age, by gender

As at 1 January 2009 – Persons

Years of age

Total

Including

Urban areas

Rural areas

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

0

639 748

329 255

310 493

200 609

103 223

97 386

439 139

226 032

213 107

1

599 638

308 493

291 145

191 006

97 895

93 111

408 632

210 598

198 034

2

545 229

280 650

264 579

266 319

136 674

129 645

278 910

143 976

134 934

3

521 199

268 306

252 893

253 634

130 252

123 382

267 565

138 054

129 511

4

527 121

270 817

256 304

257 390

132 125

125 265

269 731

138 692

131 039

5

494 563

255 026

239 537

238 945

123 137

115 808

255 618

131 889

123 729

6

516 913

265 985

250 928

249 629

128 232

121 397

267 284

137 753

129 531

7

495 898

254 427

241 471

240 076

123 039

117 037

255 822

131 388

124 434

8

508 356

260 603

247 753

246 721

126 014

120 707

261 635

134 589

127 046

9

523 549

267 856

255 693

254 996

130 395

124 601

268 553

137 461

131 092

10

529 764

271 409

258 355

260 037

133 077

126 960

269 727

138 332

131 395

11

580 530

297 691

282 839

283 184

145 115

138 069

297 346

152 576

144 770

12

608 622

312 749

295 873

299 321

153 292

146 029

309 301

159 457

149 844

13

641 418

327 578

313 840

315 280

160 427

154 853

326 138

167 151

158 987

14

618 461

315 958

302 503

302 879

154 472

148 407

315 582

161 486

154 096

15

642 466

327 883

314 583

311 852

158 998

152 854

330 614

168 885

161 729

16

659 381

336 318

323 063

327 391

166 744

160 647

331 990

169 574

162 416

17

671 771

340 526

331 245

332 266

168 111

164 155

339 505

172 415

167 090

0-17

10 324 627

15811

15120

13358

8687

10665

15575

12119

10449

Table 6

Demographic indicators

2005

2006

2007*

Permanent population at year end

26 312.7

26 663.8

27 071.8

Growth rate

101.1

101.3

101.5

Urban population (%)

36.1

35.9

35.8

Rural population (%)

63.9

64.1

64.2

Population density (inhabitants/km 2 ) at year end

58.6

59.4

60.3

Birth rate (per 1 000 persons)

20.3

20.9

22.4

Death rate (per 1 000 persons)

5.4

5.3

5.2

Overall fertility rate or total births coefficient

2.36

2.39

Life expectancy at birth:

Both genders

71.8

72.5

Male

69.6

70.2

Female

74.1

74.9

Dependants (population aged under 15 and over 65 (%))

36.3

36.1

* Estimates.

Table 7

Demographic indicators

Unit

2008

2009

Permanent population

Inhabitant

27 072 174

27 533 375

Urban population

Inhabitant

14 046 742

14 235 957

Percentage

%

51.9

51.7

Rural population

Inhabitant

13 025 432

13 297 418

Percentage

%

48.1

48.3

Permanent population growth rate

%

101.5

101.7

Population density

Inhabitant/km 2

60.3

61.3

Birth rate

1 per 1 000

23.6

23.3

Death rate

1 per 1 000

5.1

4.7

Total births coefficient

2.64

-

Life expectancy

Year

72.9

-

Table 8

Average household data

2007

2008

2009

Number of persons

5.1

5.2

5.3

Real per capita income

-

123.1

124.4

Table 9

Percentage distribution of households, by gender of household head

Gender of household head

2007

2008

2009

Male

95.2

96.0

96.5

Female

4.8

4.0

3.5

Table 10

Contraceptive use and abortion on medical grounds

2007

2008

Women using hormonal means of contraception

400,768

398,647

Of whom: Users of injecting equipment

184,493

194,164

Users of oral means

216,275

204,483

Users of barrier contraception

91,643

67,494

Moreover, users of surgical methods

186,906

174,348

Abortions on medical grounds

3,313

2,872

Table 11

Morbidity rates for selected infectious and parasitic diseases

Number of cases recorded

Per 100 000 persons

2007

2008

2007

2008

Intestinal infections

Typhoid

43

43

0.2

0.2

Salmonellas

1 686

1 381

6.3

5.1

Acute intestinal infections

32 454

33 366

120.8

122.2

Including bacterial dysentery

3 098

2 945

11.5

10.8

Viral hepatitis

Total

34 029

32 197

126.7

117.9

Including:

Acute hepatitis-A

32 260

31 027

120.1

113.6

Acute hepatitis-B

1 391

942

5.2

3.5

Acute hepatitis-C

369

213

1.4

0.8

Airborne and droplet-borne infections

Diphtheria

-

-

-

-

Whooping-cough

106

31

0.4

0.1

Measles

863

1

3.2

0

German measles

202

23

0.8

0.1

Scarlet fever

576

416

2.1

1.5

Epidemic psittacosis

4 152

1 863

15.5

6.8

Chicken pox

4 983

3 986

18.5

14.6

Meningitis

56

34

0.2

0.1

Acute infections of the upper respiratory tract

545 708

512 427

2 031.1

1 876.8

Influenza

1 621

1 022

6.0

3.7

Naturally breeding infections and zooanthroponotic infections

Siberian ulcers

2

2

0

0

Tularaemia

-

-

-

-

First-diagnosis brucellosis

376

410

1.4

1.5

Haemorrhagic fever

-

1

-

0

Pediculosis

19 175

12 522

71.4

45.9

First-diagnosis malaria

89

27

0.3

0.1

Parasitic diseases

Ascariasis

5 429

5 582

20.2

20.4

Trichomoniasis

509

499

1.9

1.8

Enterobiosis

211 492

200 955

787.2

736

Table 12

Morbidity by main categories of disease

Number of first diagnoses recorded

Per 100 000 persons

2007

2008

2007

2008

Total recorded ailments including

12 962 441

13 380 593

48 244.9

49 008.3

Certain infectious and parasitic diseases

338 210

347 124

1 258.8

1 271.4

Neoplasms

42 412

48 104

157.9

176.2

Diseases of the endocrine system, dietary and digestive system disorders

756 709

736 609

2 816.4

2 697.9

Diseases of the blood and blood-producing organs and certain diseases of the immune system

2 316 206

2 494 923

8 620.7

9 138.0

Mental and behavioural problems

54 855

53 548

204.2

196.1

Diseases of the nervous system

468 725

450 125

1 744.5

1 648.6

Diseases of the eye and its appendages

412 343

448 917

1 534.7

1 644.2

Diseases of the ear and mammiform appendix

355 038

358 973

1 321.4

1 314.8

Diseases of the circulatory system

403 078

429 081

1 500.2

1 571.6

Diseases of the respiratory organs

3 289 382

3 342 417

12 242.7

12 242.1

Diseases of the digestive organs

1 617 316

1 774 960

6 019.5

6 501.0

Diseases of the genito-urinary system

724 544

747 414

2 696.7

2 737.5

Pregancy, childbirth and postnatal period

234 360

264 954

3 087.3

3 421.3

Diseases of the skin and epidermis

597 353

564 678

2 223.3

2 068.2

Diseases of the skeleto-muscular system and connective tissue

242 776

247 427

903.6

906.2

Congenital abnormalities (developmental defects), deformities and chromosome disorders

15 864

15 085

59.0

55.3

Various perinatal conditions

120 932

120 807

1 574.6

19 446.0

Symptoms, signs and deviations from the norm, unclassified under other headings and identified during clinical and laboratory tests

29 294

27 961

109.0

102.4

Trauma, poisoning and certain other effects of external causes

943 044

907 486

3 509.9

3 323.8

Table 13

Teacher/pupil ratio in State educational institutions

Pupils per teacher at the start of the school year

2005/2006

2006/2007

2007/2008

General education schools

12.5

12.3

11.7

Lycées (academic secondary schools)

8.4

9.4

10.6

Colleges (vocational secondary schools)

15.3

16.6

15.3

Higher-education institutions

10.5

10.8

10.7

Table 14

Literacy rate among persons over 16

2007

2008

Adult literacy rate (%)

99.6

99.9

Table 15

Teacher/pupil ratio in educational institutions

Pupils per teacher at the start of the school year

2008/2009

2009/2010

General education schools

11.2

11.2

Lycées (academic secondary schools)

10.8

11.6

Colleges (vocational secondary schools)

15.1

14.1

Higher-education institutions

10.8

10.4

Table 16

Employment and unemployment rates

Indicator

2005

2006

2007*

Official unemployment rate (%)

0.3

0.2

0.2

Numbers of employed persons, by economic branch (1 000s):

10 196.3

10 467.0

10 735.4

Manufacturing :

Agriculture and forestry

1 347.5

1 402.4

1 445.5

Transport and communications

2 967.4

2 935.9

2 930.1

Construction

488.1

506.9

527.7

Commerce, catering, sales, procurement

848.5

876.6

910.1

Domestic, community and household services

903.9

977.2

1 055.4

Health, physical education, sports, recreation

316.4

331.2

346.4

Finance, credit, insurance

735.5

768.1

801.4

Other

1 385.1

1 434.5

1 481.8

Numbers e mployed in the formal sector (1 000s)

54.2

54.9

58.4

Numbers emp loyed in the informal sector (1 000s)

1 149.7

1 179.3

1 178.6

Ec onomically active population (1 000s)**

4 642.8

4 562.8

4 587.7

Ec onomically active population (1 000s)**

5 553.5

5 904.2

6 147.7

Ec onomically active population (1 000s)**

10 224.0

10 492.5

10 758.6

* Estimates.

** The economically active population is defined as the number of employed persons plus the number of persons officially recognized as unemployed.

Table 17

Employment by regions

Thousand persons

2007

2008

2009

Republic of Uzbekistan

10 735.4

11 035.4

11 328.1

Republic of Karakalpakstan

551.1

561.0

570.9

Provinces:

Andizhan

1 014.7

1 047.3

1 079.1

Bukhara

707.9

729.1

749.5

Djizzak

350.9

360.6

370.7

Kashkadarya

877.8

908.7

940.2

Navoi

389.8

396.7

402.3

Namangan

738.0

763.2

788.9

Samarkand

1 115.7

1 152.0

1 190.2

Syrdarya

696.6

722.4

752.1

Surkhandarya

296.1

304.1

311.7

Tashkent

1 068.6

1 097.5

1 125.6

Fergana

1 241.3

1 280.1

1 311.7

Khorezm

553.6

571.1

588.2

Tashkent City

1 132.4

1 140.8

1 146.5

Table 18

Official rate of unemployment

Per cent

2007

2008

2009*

Republic of Uzbekistan

0.2

0.1

0.2

Republic of Karakalpakstan

0.4

0.2

0.2

Provinces:

Andizhan

0.1

0.1

0.1

Bukhara

0.1

0.1

0.1

Djizzak

0.2

0.1

0.1

Kashkadarya

0.2

0.2

0.2

Navoi

0.6

0.5

0.3

Namangan

0.3

0.2

0.2

Samarkand

0.1

0.1

0.1

Syrdarya

0.1

0.2

0.3

Surkhandarya

0.4

0.3

0.2

Tashkent

0.1

0.1

0.1

Fergana

0.1

0.1

0.1

Khorezm

0.3

0.1

0.2

Tashkent City

0.2

0.3

0.4

* Preliminary data.

Table 19

GDP 2003-2009

Unit

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

GDP

SUM billion

9 837.8

122 661.0

15 923.4

20 759.3

28 186.2

37 746.7

48 097.0

GDP index

%

104.4

107.7

107.0

107.3

109.5

109.0

108.1

Table 20

Consumer price index

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

3.8

3.7

7.8

6.8

6.8

7.8

7.4

2.Constitutional, political and legal structure

56.The Republic of Uzbekistan was constituted on 31 August 1991 in the territory of the former Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, which had been part of the USSR. Uzbekistan is a unitary State with a presidential form of Government. The acquisition of State sovereignty marked the beginning of fundamental reforms and political changes.

57.The Constitution, adopted on 8 December 1992, reflects the people’s will, spirit, social awareness and culture. Above all, the Constitution’s adherence to the universal values and generally accepted principles and standards of international law. There is no imposition of a single political ideology, class conflicts or party dictatorship. There is no crushing dominance of the State over the people.

58.The Constitution establishes the principle of the separation of powers between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.

The Legislature

59.Legislative power is exercised by the Oliy Majlis (parliament), the highest representative organ of the State. Following the conduct of a referendum, a two-chamber parliament was established in 2005, consisting of an upper chamber (the Senate) and a lower chamber (the Legislative Chamber) of the Oliy Majlis. The establishment of this two‑chamber parliament significantly strengthened the stability of the State of Uzbekistan. First, it extended the constitutional powers of parliament and improved markedly the checks and balances between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Second, it extended the democratic representation of the regions. Third, it enhanced considerably the quality of the legislative process. Fourth, it marked a transition to a professional parliament.

60.The procedure for the formation and the legal status of the parliament of the Republic of Uzbekistan are set out in the Constitution (arts. 76-88), in the Constitutional Acts on the Senate of the Oliy Majlis and the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, as well as in the Oliy Majlis Elections Act, and the Legislative Chamber and Senate Members Status Act.

61.Members of the Legislative Chamber and the Senate serve for a term of five years. The Chamber has 150 deputies, elected to represent their constituencies on a multi-party basis. Its work is based on the professional and consistent activity of all deputies.

62.The Legislative Chamber is structured around committees and commissions. Its rules of procedure call for the following 10 committees: Budget and Economic Reforms; Legislation and Judicial Questions; Employment and Social Questions; Defence and Security; International Affairs and Interparliamentary Relations; Agrarian and Water Supply Questions and the Environment; Industry, Construction and Trade; Science, Education, Culture and Sports; Democratic Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and Citizens’ Self-Governance Bodies; and Information and Communication Technology.

63.Commissions consisting of members of the Legislative Chamber are set up to deal with specific matters.

Table 21

Composition of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis

Area or grouping

Men

Women

Total

2005

2010

2005

2010

2005

2010

Tashkent City

10

10

1

2

11

12

Andizhan

11

10

-

2

11

12

Bukhara

5

6

2

2

7

8

Djizzak

3

3

1

2

4

5

Kashkadarya

9

8

1

4

10

12

Navoi

2

5

2

-

4

5

Namangan

7

8

2

3

9

11

Samarkand

13

14

-

-

13

14

Syrdarya

3

3

-

1

3

4

Surkhandarya

7

8

1

1

8

9

Tashkent

8

10

4

3

12

13

Fergana

11

9

3

6

14

15

Khorezm

5

5

2

2

7

7

Karakalpak Republic

5

5

2

3

7

8

Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan

-

13

-

2

-

15

Total

99 (82.5%)

117 (78%)

21 (17.5%)

120

150

64.The Senate of the Oliy Majlis consists of senators representing geographical constituencies. Six senators each are elected for the Karakalpak Republic, the provinces, and the City of Tashkent by secret ballot at joint sessions of the members of the Jokargy Kenes (parliament) of Karakalpakstan and of the citizens’ self-governance bodies in the provinces, districts and towns, from among their own number. Sixteen members of the Senate are appointed by the President of Uzbekistan from among the most distinguished citizens having broad practical experience and special merit in the fields of science, the arts, literature, industry and other areas of the life of the State and society.

Political parties

65.Four political parties are currently represented in the Legislative Chamber.

66.Adolat, the Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, constituted on 18 April 1995. As at 1 August 2009, this party had 77,210 members. It draws its membership from the middle and poorer strata of the population and endeavours to represent their political and social wishes and promote their social protection on the basis of the principles of social justice.

67.Milli Tiklanish, the Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, constituted on 20 June 2008 by decision of the joint congress resulting from a merger of the Democratic Party of Uzbekistan Milli Tiklanish and the National Democratic Party Fidokorlar. On 11 August 2008, the Democratic Party of Uzbekistan Milli Tiklanish was registered with the Ministry of Justice (certificate No. 194-P). The Party’s Constitution was adopted on 20 June 2008 by decision of the joint congress. As at 1 August 2009, this party had 108,390 members. The party’s basic aims are to promote national self-awareness; develop and strengthen the citizens’ pride in, devotion to and love for their country; and unite in its ranks patriots to mobilize their intellectual and creative potential in the service of the country for the enhancement its international standing.

68.UzLuDep, the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People, registered on 3 December 2003. As at 1 August 2009, this party had 161,758 members. It is a nation-wide political organization expressing and defending the interests of property-owners, small‑scale entrepreneurs, owners of farms and small family farms, highly skilled manufacturing workers and managerial personnel, and business people.

69.The National Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, founded on 1 November 1991. It represents the left wing in the country’s politics and expresses the political wishes of a number of social strata and groups. As at 1 July 2009, this party had 364,800 members; in comparison to 2005, the proportion of party members with a higher education increased from 36.8 to 37.8 per cent, while women accounted for 40.3 of the membership. The party has a multiethnic composition in so far as it comprises members from 53 ethnic groups living in the country.

70.The activities of political parties in Uzbekistan are regulated by the Constitution, the Political Parties Act, the Political Parties Funding Act, and the Constitutional Act on strengthening the role of political parties in the renewal and further democratization of State administration and in the modernization of the country.

Table 22

Membership of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, by political party and movement

Political parties

Adolat

UzLiDep

DPMT

NDPU

Ecological movement

Total

Number of members

19

53

31

32

15

150

The Executive

71.The current President of Uzbekistan has been head of State since 1 January 2008. Under article 90 of the Constitution, the President is elected by the citizens of Uzbekistan on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage in a secret ballot for a term of seven years; and any citizen of Uzbekistan who has reached the age of 35, is fluent in the official language and has resided permanently in the territory of Uzbekistan for at least 10 years immediately prior to the election may stand for election to the post of President. Under the Constitution, a person may not be President for more than two consecutive terms.

72.Under article 93 of the Constitution, the President is the guarantor of the rights and freedoms of citizens and of the Constitution and the law. The President’s powers include:

Adopting measures necessary for the defence of the country’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity;

Representing the Republic domestically and in international relations;

Negotiating and signing the Republic’s agreements and guaranteeing their observance;

Forming and leading the apparatus of the Executive;

Ensuring cooperation among all the higher organs of power and governance;

Establishing and disbanding ministries, State committees and other Government bodies;

Appointing and dismissing judges of the province, inter-district, district, city, military and economic courts;

Acting as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces;

Establishing the National Security and State Control Service;

Decision-making on citizenship issues.

73.Executive power is exercised by the Cabinet of Ministers. It consists of the Prime Minister and his or her deputies, ministers, chairpersons of State committees, and the head of the Government of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

74.The Cabinet is appointed by the President. The candidacy of the person nominated to the post of Prime Minister is examined and confirmed by the chambers of the Oliy Majlis on the proposal of the President of Uzbekistan following consultations with each of the party groups in the Legislative Chamber and the deputies of the Ecological Movement. The Prime Minister may be removed from office on the initiative of the party groups in the Legislative Chamber if a presidential motion to that effect receives more than two thirds of the votes of the total membership of the two chambers.

75.The Cabinet is responsible for managing the economy and the social and intellectual spheres and ensuring application of the Constitution, the law and other decisions adopted by the Oliy Majlis, and the decisions and instructions issued by the President; and it issues, in accordance with the legislation in force, decisions and instructions which have binding force throughout the national territory on all organs, enterprises, organizations, officials and citizens. The Cabinet’s work is regulated by chapter XX of the Constitution and by the Cabinet of Ministers Act.

76.The Cabinet of Ministers resigns when a new Oliy Majlis is elected.

The Judiciary

77.Uzbekistan’s Judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches and of political parties and other civil society organizations (Constitution, articles 106-116). The judicial power is exercised by a system of courts, namely:

(a)The Constitutional Court, which considers questions of the Constitutionality of the acts of the Legislature and the Executive;

(b)The Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial organ with respect to civil, criminal and administrative matters;

(c)The Higher Economic Court, which adjudicates on disputes in the economic sphere;

(d)The Supreme Court of Karakalpakstan;

(e)The Economic Court of Karakalpakstan;

(f) The provincial, Tashkent City, district, city and economic courts.

78.Since 1 January 2000, following the adoption of the Presidential Decree on improvement of the judicial system, which led to amendments and additions to the Courts Act, the courts have specialized in the separate consideration of civil or criminal cases. The following courts of general jurisdiction were established: the Supreme Civil Court of Karakalpakstan; the Tashkent City civil court; and the provincial and inter-district civil courts.

79.Specialization among courts of general jurisdiction was also introduced for criminal cases. The following courts were established: the Supreme Criminal Court of Karakalpakstan; the Tashkent City criminal court; and the provincial, district and city criminal courts.

80.Under article 112 of the Constitution and the Courts Act, “judges are independent and subject solely to the law. Any interference in the work of judges in administering justice shall be inadmissible and punishable by law. The immunity of judges shall be guaranteed by law. Judges may not be senators or members of the representative bodies of State power. Judges may not belong to any political parties or participate in political movements or engage in any type of paid activity other than scientific and educational. Judges may be removed from their post prior to the end of their term of office only on the grounds specified by law”.

Local-level State authorities

81.In addition to the higher representative organs of State power — the Oliy Majlis, the Office of the President and the Cabinet of Ministers — the system of organs of State power also includes local bodies and officials dealing with social problems at the provincial, district and city levels: councils of peoples’ deputies and regional chief administrators (khokims). Their rights and powers are set out in the Constitution and in the Local-level State Authorities Act. Nominees for the post of regional administrator are submitted by the President of Uzbekistan for approval by the provincial council of peoples’ deputies following consultations with representatives of the party groups operating within the council. The party groups in provincial councils are entitled to initiate the submission of observations to the President concerning unsatisfactory performance by the provincial regional administrator.

82.All regional administrators exercise their powers in accordance with the principle of sole authority. The decisions they take within the limits of the authority conferred on them are binding on all enterprises, institutions, organizations, associations, officials and citizens in the area concerned (Constitution, article 104).

83.The local representative bodies — the councils of peoples’ deputies — perform their functions under the authority of the regional administrator.

The elections system

84.The bases of the organization of the elections system and its principles are enshrined in the Constitution, chapter XXIII of which is devoted to this matter, and in the Referendums Act (1991), the Presidential Elections Act (1991), the Oliy Majlis Elections Act (1993), the Councils of Peoples’ Deputies Provincial, District and City Elections Act (1999), the Citizens’ Voting Rights Guarantees Act (1994) and the Central Electoral Commission Act.

85.In establishing the principles of the elections system the Constitution guarantees all citizens:

The right to elect members of and to be elected to the representative organs of State power;

Equality and freedom in the expression of their will;

The right to membership in representative bodies (not more than two simultaneously).

86.Rights under the Constitution may be exercised by all citizens who have reached the age of 18. The Constitution provides for exceptions only with respect to certain categories of person. The following persons may not vote in elections:

Citizens deemed by a court to lack the capacity to possess rights and be bound by obligations;

Persons held in places of deprivation of liberty.

87.The results of the most recent presidential election, held on 23 December 2007, show that more than 16 million persons have the right to vote in Uzbekistan.

Table 23

Number of voters 2002-2007

Region/ province

Referendum, 27 January 2002

Legislative Chamber elections, 26 December 2004

Presidential elections, 23 December 2007

1

Republic of Karakalpak

785 707

841 310

960 000

2

Andizhan

1 205 846

1 297 947

1 485 100

3

Bukhara

770 042

828 978

972 300

4

Djizzak

471 547

510 243

609 800

5

Kashkadarya

1 104 091

1 226 010

1 404 20

6

Navoi

433 766

474 086

514 700

7

Namangan

1 041 553

1 137 009

1 283 100

8

Samarkand

1 420 285

1 5340 761

1 724 300

9

Surkhandarya

893 726

967 762

1 107 500

10

Syrdarya

326 328

338 307

409 500

11

Tashkent

1 246 756

1 446 440

1 597 200

12

Fergana

1 535 684

1 629 942

1 803 600

13

Khorezm

744 579

829 920

894 700

14

Tashkent City

1 246 732

1 233 947

1 531 400

Total

13 226 642

14 302 662

16 297 400

Table 24

Number of voters 2002-2009

Region/ province

Referendum, 27 January 2002

Legislative Chamber elections, 26 December 2004

Presidential elections, 23 December 2007

Legislative Chamber elections, 27 December 2009

1

Republic of Karakalpak

785 707

841 310

960 000

1 011 200

2

Andizhan

1 205 846

1 297 947

1 485 100

1 574 300

3

Bukhara

770 042

828 978

972 300

1 024 100

4

Djizzak

471 547

510 243

609 800

649 500

5

Kashkadarya

1 104 091

1 226 010

1 404 20

538 600

6

Navoi

433 766

474 086

514 700

1 365 800

7

Namangan

1 041 553

1 137 009

1 283 100

1 832 100

8

Samarkand

1 420 285

1 5340 761

1 724 300

432 700

9

Surkhandarya

893 726

967 762

1 107 500

1 188 000

10

Syrdarya

326 328

338 307

409 500

1 670 600

11

Tashkent

1 246 756

1 446 440

1 597 200

1 903 100

12

Fergana

1 535 684

1 629 942

1 803 600

944 800

13

Khorezm

744 579

829 920

894 700

150 720

14

Tashkent City

1 246 732

1 233 947

1 531 400

1 573 700

Total

13 226 642

14 302 662

16 297 400

17 215 700

88.Only citizens may vote. Aliens and stateless person do not enjoy that right.

89.The Councils of Peoples’ Deputies Provincial, District and City Elections Act sets out the basic principles for the conduct of elections, namely:

Plurality of parties;

Universal, equal and direct suffrage;

Secrecy of the ballot;

Publicity.

90.All voters have the same legal status. All citizens of Uzbekistan have the same voting rights, regardless of social origin, racial or national affiliation, gender, language, education or individual or collective property status.

91.Under the law, at least 30 per cent of candidates on party lists must be women.

92.Uzbekistan’s election system is a majority-vote system. Pursuant to the Oliy Majlis Elections Act, a candidate obtaining more than half of the votes of the voters participating in the election is deemed elected.

Legal status and legal regulation of the activities of NGOs

93.To date the Ministry of Justice and its local subdivisions have officially registered 1,587 non-profit NGOs and have also recorded the existence of 3,446 such organizations. The legal regulation of non-profit NGOs is based on both public and private law.

94.The State pursues a policy of social partnership and actively promotes the development of institutions of civil society. Under the Non-Profit Non-Governmental Organizations Safeguards Act, the State may support the activities of non-profit NGOs through subsidies, grants and procurement of social services. June 2005 saw the formation of the Uzbek National Association of Non-Profit NGOs, representing the interests of non‑profit NGOs in their relations with the State. On 3 July 2007, by joint decision of the Oliy Majlis Legislative Chamber and Senate on measures for strengthening support for non-profit NGOs and other civil society bodies, the Public Support Fund for Non‑Governmental Non-Profit Organizations and Other Civil Society Institutions and a parliamentary commission responsible for managing the finances of the Fund were created and attached to the Oliy Majlis. Fund support is provided directly, in the form of subsidies, grants and social service commissions based on applications filed by non-profit NGOs and other civil society bodies in accordance with decisions of the parliamentary commission.

95.Uzbekistan has adopted a number of legal instruments consolidating and safeguarding the activities of NGOs: the Constitution, the Civil Code, the Public Associations Act, the Non-Profit NGOs Act, the Voluntary Foundations Act, the Property Owners’ Associations Act, the Citizens’ Self-Governance Bodies Act, the Act on the Election of Presiding Officers of Citizens’ Self-Governance Bodies, the Non-Profit NGOs Safeguards Act, and the Voluntary Associations Act. Chapter XII of the Constitution is devoted in its entirety to civil society organizations.

96.In accordance with the Constitution, the State guarantees the observance of the rights and legitimate interests of public associations and ensures that they have equal legal opportunities to participate in public life. Interference by State bodies or officials in the activities of such associations and vice versa is prohibited. Article 57 of the Constitution prohibits “the creation and operation of civil society organizations established for the purpose of changing the constitutional order by force, impairing the sovereignty, integrity and security of the Republic and the rights and freedoms of its citizens under the Constitution, making propaganda for war or social or religious enmity or hostility between nationalities and races, or undermining the health and morality of the people, as well as militarized organizations operating under the banner of a nationality or religion. The formation of secret societies or associations is prohibited”.

97.The Ministry of Justice is the chief agency for the registration of NGOs.

98.Pursuant to the Non-Profit NGOs Act, the judicial body receiving the papers for the official registration of a non-profit NGO must examine them and take a decision on approval or rejection within two months; it must then, within three days of that decision, issue to the founders a certificate of official registration or a document stating the specific provisions of the legislation on which rejection is based. Under article 62 of the Constitution, disbanding, prohibiting or restricting the activities of a civil society organization requires a court decision.

99.Article 2 of the Act clearly and consistently stipulates that an organization may be deemed non-profit when:

(a) The fundamental purpose of its activity is not to produce income (profits);

(b)It does not distribute any income received among its members.

100.As legal entities, NGOs are assessed for taxation after deduction of expenditure for socially useful statutory activities. Only the income (profits) from their business activity is taxed.

Administration of justice

101.Under the Constitution, the basic principles of judicial proceedings and administration of justice are:

Independence of the courts and immunity of judges (arts. 106 and 108);

Independence of judges and their subordination only to the law (art. 112);

Prohibition of judges from holding representative office (arts. 108 and 112);

Prohibition of judges from membership in political parties or movements (arts. 108 and 112);

Openness and publicity of all court proceedings; hearings behind closed doors are permitted only in the cases specified by law (art. 113);

Conduct of judicial proceedings in the official language of the State or in the majority national language of the locality (art. 115);

Participation of a lawyer in all stages of preliminary and court proceedings (art. 116);

Binding nature of decisions of judicial authorities for all State bodies, enterprises, establishments and organizations, civil society organizations, officials and citizens (arts. 109, 110 and 114);

102.Uzbekistan’s judicial system is rather complicated. It has three sections, for the country’s composition also comprises Karakalpakstan and 12 provinces. In addition, the Tashkent City court has the status of a provincial court and a higher status than the district courts within the boundaries of the capital.

103.Cases are heard by several different instances. The district and inter-district criminal courts have only one function — that of courts of first instance. The Supreme Court of Karakalpakstan, the provincial courts and the Tashkent City court act as courts of first instance for cases falling within their jurisdiction at the appeals, judicial review and supervisory levels. They supervise the proceedings of the district, city and inter-district courts (Courts Act, article 30). The Supreme Court, as the highest judicial authority for civil, criminal and administrative justice, is empowered to consider cases both in first instance and in its supervisory-review capacity. Furthermore, cases heard by the Supreme Court in first instance may also be considered by it as court of appeal or judicial review; but cases heard on appeal may not be considered in judicial review (Courts Act, article 13).

104.All cases are heard by the appropriate court in accordance with specific procedural rules and with a clearly defined purpose. Procedural rules are set out in several pieces of legislation: the Code of Criminal Procedure (1994), the Code of Civil Procedure (1997) and the Code of Economic Procedure (1997).

105.As a general rule, a case may be heard in two instances — first and second. Permitted only in exceptional circumstances, supervisory review of cases is not regarded as a third instance.

106.The courts of first instance consider the merits of the case with a view to establishing the defendant’s guilt or innocence in criminal cases and the success or failure of the action in civil cases. Any court may consider in first instance cases falling within its jurisdiction.

107.The most complicated cases are heard by the higher courts, up to and including the Supreme Court.

108.In considering the merits, it is usual for a court, with or without the participation of the people’s assessor, to examine the evidence and establish all the important facts of the case. On the conclusion of its proceedings the court imposes a sentence in criminal cases and makes an award in civil cases.

109.Before judicial decisions become enforceable, appeals may be lodged against them to a higher court of appeal within 10 days of their issuance in criminal cases and 20 days in civil cases.

110.Once they become enforceable, court decisions and sentences which have not been reconsidered on appeal may be the subject of an application to a higher court for judicial review within one year of the issuance of the decision or sentence.

111.Judicial decisions which have become enforceable may be reviewed at the supervisory level, but only following an objection by the procurator or court president or their deputies to whom this right is accorded by law.

112.Judicial proceedings in the Constitutional Court are conducted in accordance with the Constitutional Court Act.

113.Under article 15 of the Criminal Code, offences are classified, according to their nature and the degree of social danger which they represent, into offences representing no great social danger, offences of minor gravity, serious offences, and extremely serious offences.

114.Offences representing no great social danger include deliberate crimes for which the law prescribes a penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to three years and crimes committed out of negligence for which the law prescribes a penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to five years.

115.Offences of minor gravity include deliberate crimes for which the law prescribes a sentence of deprivation of liberty exceeding three and up to five years and crimes committed out of negligence for which the law prescribes a penalty of deprivation of liberty for more than five years.

116.Serious offences include deliberate crimes for which the law prescribes a penalty of deprivation of liberty exceeding five and up to 10 years.

117.Extremely serious offences are deliberate crimes for which the law prescribes a penalty of deprivation of liberty exceeding 10 years or for life.

Table 25

Total recorded offences, by degree of social danger

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Total recorded offences, including offences

78 925

79 129

79 883

82 352

83 905

Representing no great social danger

35 084

36 080

38 098

40 209

40 492

Of minor gravity

24 636

24 642

23 892

24 615

25 747

Of a serious character

12 716

12 030

11 618

11 224

11 089

Of an extremely serious character

6 489

6 377

6 275

6 304

6 600

Table 26

Breakdown of the number of offenders by age group

13-15

16-17

18-24

25-29

Over 30

2006

580

2246

14919

12905

43908

2007

604

2249

14958

13283

46950

2008

630

2110

14994

13272

50237

2009

584

2164

16057

14802

54749

Table 27

Offences committed by women, by degree of social danger

2006

2007

2008

2009

Total recorded offences, including offences

8 197

9 225

11 760

11 814

Representing no great social danger

4592

4921

6031

5520

Of minor gravity

1977

2569

3466

3981

Of a serious character

1060

1143

1529

1601

Of an extremely serious character

568

593

734

712

Maximum and average duration of pretrial detention

118.As part of the reform of the judicial system, the time limit for preliminary investigations in criminal cases was cut from two years to one year and for pretrial detention from 18 to 9 months (in exceptional cases 12 months); the scope of application of this measure was also reduced.

119.In addition, in order to ensure effective protection of constitutional rights and freedoms, in particular the rights to inviolability of the person and due process, on 1 January 2008 the power to order pretrial detention was transferred to the courts, and corresponding amendments were made to Act No. 3RU-100 of 11 July 2007 and to the articles of the Code of Criminal Procedure regulating the duration of pretrial detention and the procedure for its extension. Article 245 of the Code now reads as follows.

120.“The duration of pretrial detention during investigation of an offence may not exceed three months.

121.Applications for extension of the three-month period of pretrial detention established by law shall be considered by the courts as follows:

Up to 5 months if made by a procurator of Karakalpakstan or a procurator of a province or of Tashkent City or a procurator of equivalent rank.

Up to 9 months if made by the Procurator-General of Uzbekistan.

Up to 12 months if made by the Procurator-General of Uzbekistan during the investigation of particularly complicated cases involving persons charged with serious or extremely serious offences. No further extension of the period shall be permitted. In considering all such applications, courts shall take into account the weight of the evidence submitted and compliance with procedural rules and requirements.”

122.Article 247 of the Code specifies the procedure for extension of the duration of pretrial detention.

123.Procurators must issue orders for the preparation of applications for extension of pretrial detention and their submission to the courts at least six days before the expiry of the current period. Such applications must state the reasons for the unusual length of the investigation, and elements and circumstances justifying the application.

124.Applications are considered by a judge of a district or city criminal court sitting alone or of an area or territorial military court at the place where the offence was committed or where the pretrial investigation is being conducted. In the absence of the judge or under circumstances preventing the judge from participating in the examination of the case file, the application is considered by the judge of some other equivalent court designated by the President of the Supreme Criminal Court of Karakalpakstan, a criminal court of Tashkent City or a province, or the Military Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

125.Applications are considered by the court in closed session within 72 hours of the submission of the case file.

126.Applications are considered in the presence of the procurator and the accused and his or her counsel, if any. When necessary, investigators may be summoned to appear before the court.

127.The court may consider applications in the absence of the accused if he or she is being held in a medical institution for completion of a forensic psychiatric assessment as an inpatient. In such cases it is mandatory for a defence counsel to attend the hearing.

128.On completion of its consideration of an application, the court issues one of the following orders:

(a) To extend the period of pretrial detention;

(b) To reject the application for extension.

129.An order to extend or not to extend the period takes effect from the moment it is issued and is subject to immediate enforcement. The order is transmitted to the procurator for enforcement and to the accused and his or her counsel for information. The court’s decision is subject to appeal or may be contested under the procedure described in the second part of article 241 of the Code within a time limit of 72 hours.

130.Having considered an appeal or objection, the appeals court may in its ruling:

(a) Leave the lower court’s decision unchanged and reject the appeal or objection.

(b) Revoke the lower court’s decision by refusing to extend the period of pretrial detention or by extending the period set in that decision. If extension of the period of pretrial detention is ordered in respect of an accused person who has been released from custody on the expiry of an earlier period of remand, the court must issue a new remand order against such person.

Number of deaths during pretrial detention

131.In the period 2005-2007, three persons held on remand in temporary detention units committed suicide by hanging.

132.The number of convicts who died in correctional institutions was 10 in 2005, 15 in 2006 and 10 in 2007. In 29 of these cases, the causes of death were tuberculosis, infections of the gastro-intestinal tract and cardiovascular disease, while the other six prisoners committed suicide or were killed in accidents.

Number of Ministry of Internal Affairs employees per 100,000 of the population

133.The Ministry’s agencies have 111 officers fighting crime and safeguarding the public order for every 100,000 members of the population.

Table 28

Total amount of material damage caused by criminal offences and claimed in judicial proceedings

Total, based on court rulings

Of which: suspended by court order

Total actually enforced

Of which: actually collected

Number

Amount

Number

Amount

Number

Amount

Number

Amount

Number

Amount

Number

Amount

2006

74246.0

95.7

72040.3

97.2

11870.9

16.0

2007

16638

33062.0

85

149.9

14295

86.4

29557.4

89.8

9022

54.5

18504.1

56.2

2008

13830

30824.9

31

1087.2

11831

85.7

26764.4

90.0

7243

52.5

13458.6

45.3

2009

14558

43185.3

295

4621.4

12341

86.5

35136.4

91.1

8230

57.7

16201.4

42.0

B.General framework for the protection and promotion of human rights

1.Adoption of international human rights standards

Table 29

Treaty

Notification of accession

Reservations and declarations

Derogations, restrictions, or limitations

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)

31 August 1995

-

-

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

31 August 1995

-

-

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)

31 August 1995

-

-

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

6 May 1995

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)

31 August 1995

-

-

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

9 December 1992

-

-

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families (1990)

-

-

-

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts (2000)

12 December 2008

-

-

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (2000)

11 December 2008

-

-

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerning communications from individuals (1966)

31 August 1995

-

-

Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (1989)

10 December 2008

-

-

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women concerning communications from individuals (1999)

-

-

-

Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment concerning regular visits undertaken by independent national and international bodies to places of detention (2002)

-

-

-

Ratification of other United Nations human rights treaties and related treaties

Table 30

Treaty

Notification of accession

Reservations and declarations

Derogations, restrictions, or limitations

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948)

20 August 1999

-

-

Slavery Convention (1926)

-

-

-

Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation and the Prostitution of Others (1949)

12 December 2003

-

-

Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) and its Protocol (1967)

-

-

-

Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (1954)

-

-

-

Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (1961)

-

-

-

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998)

-

-

-

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000)

Signed 13 December 2000; ratified 30 August 2003

-

-

Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air

Signed 28 June 2001

-

-

Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

Signed 28 June 2001; ratified 8 July 2008

-

-

Ratification of other relevant international treaties

Table 31

Treaty

Notification of accession

Reservations and declarations

Derogations, restrictions, or limitations

Conventions of the International Labour Organization

Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention (No. 14, 1921)

-

-

-

Forced Labour Convention (No. 29, 1930)

30 August 1997

-

-

Forty-Hour Week Convention (No. 47, 1935)

6 May 1995

Holidays with Pay Convention (No. 52, 1936)

6 May 1995

Labour Inspection Convention (No. 81, 1947)

-

-

-

Migration for Employment Recommendation (No. 86, 1949)

-

-

-

Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention (No. 87, 1948)

-

-

-

Migration for Employment Convention (Revised) (No. 97, 1949)

-

-

-

Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention (No. 98, 1949)

30 August 1997

-

-

Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100, 1951)

30 August 1997

-

-

Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention (No. 102, 1951)

-

-

-

Maternity Protection Convention (Revised) (No. 103, 1952)

Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105, 1957)

30 August 1997

Weekly Rest (Commerce and Offices) Convention (No. 106, 1957)

-

-

-

Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (No. 111, 1958)

30 August 1997

-

-

Equality of Treatment (Social Security) Convention (No. 118, 1962)

-

-

-

Employment Policy Convention (No. 122, 1964)

6 May 1995

Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention (No. 129, 1969)

-

-

-

Minimum Wage Fixing Convention (No. 131, 1970)

-

-

-

Holidays with Pay Convention (Revised) (No. 132, 1970)

-

-

-

Workers’ Representatives Convention (No. 135, 1971)

30 August 1997

Minimum Age Convention (No. 138, 1973)

4 April 2008

-

-

Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention (No. 143, 1975)

-

-

-

Migrant Workers Recommendation (No. 151, 1975)

-

-

-

Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention (No. 151, 1978)

-

-

-

Collective Bargaining Convention (No. 154, 1981)

30 August 1997

Occupational Safety and Health Convention (No. 155, 1981)

-

-

-

Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention (No. 156, 1981)

-

-

-

Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (No. 169, 1989)

-

-

-

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182, 1999)

8 April 2008

-

-

Maternity Protection Convention (No. 183, 2000)

-

-

-

Geneva Conventions and other international humanitarian law treaties

Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (1949)

3 September 1993

-

-

Geneva Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea (1949)

3 September 1993

-

-

Geneva Convention (III) relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1949)

3 September 1993

-

-

Geneva Convention (IV) relating to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949)

3 September 1993

-

-

Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) (1977)

3 September 1993

-

-

Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-State Armed Conflicts (Protocol II) (1977)

3 September 1993

-

-

2.Legal framework for the protection of human rights at the national level

Legal bases of the protection of human rights

134.As at 1 February 2007, Uzbekistan had in force 15 codes, 368 acts, 631 presidential decrees and 156 presidential decisions, 2,445 decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers, and 1,206 sets of departmental regulations. This vast body of legislation, constituted during the years of independence, has laid the foundations for the comprehensive regulation of social, economic and political relations. Almost all the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are embodied in the Constitution and have been further developed in the legislation in force.

135.The State Independence Foundations Constitutional Act of 31 August 1991 provides as follows: “In Uzbekistan, Uzbek citizenship is established in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

136.All Uzbek citizens, regardless of nationality, social origins, religious faith, or opinions, have equal civil rights and enjoy the protection of the Constitution and the law.”

137.National and State values and all the generally recognized ideals of humanity’s legal culture are organically interlinked in the Constitution.

138.The special status of the generally recognized rules of international law on human rights and freedoms is established in the preamble to the Constitution, worded as follows: “The people of Uzbekistan, solemnly declaring its adherence to human rights and the principles of State sovereignty, aware of its great responsibility to the present and future generations, relying on the historical experience of the development of Uzbek statehood, affirming its commitment to the ideals of democracy and social justice, recognizing the priority of the generally recognized rules of international law, wishing to provide a decent life for the citizens of the Republic, assuming the task of creating a humane and democratic State with a view to civil peace and national accord, represented by its plenipotentiary deputies, adopts this Constitution”.

139.The Constitution was drafted in accordance with the basic principle that “the human being, human life, freedom, honour, dignity and other inalienable rights” constitute “the ultimate value” (the Constitution, article 13). This fundamental position is one of the pillars of Uzbekistan’s constitutional order. It preordains the role and the importance which the Constitution attaches to human rights and freedoms.

140.Under article 31 of the Constitution, “freedom of conscience is guaranteed for all. Everyone has the right to profess any religion or none. The imposition of religious views by force is prohibited”.

141.Article 43 of the Constitution establishes the obligation of the State to guarantee the human rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution and the law. Article 44 accords to everyone the legal protection of his or her rights and freedoms, and the right to complain to the courts concerning unlawful acts of State agencies or officials or civil society organizations.

142.In addition to these general provisions on guarantees, the establishment of virtually every specific right and freedom is accompanied by an indication of the conditions and means of its realization.

143.The human rights guarantees set out in the Constitution encompass all legal remedies and ensure the realization and protection of human rights and freedoms in the various branches of the law.

144.Guarantees of civil rights and freedoms are of course not regulated by the Constitution alone.

145.Human rights are legally established in Uzbekistan by constitutional acts, legal codes and a solid body of primary legislation. Parliament has adopted more than 300 acts regulating fundamental human rights. The general measures for the delivery and protection of civil rights and freedoms are set out in legislation on the various branches of activity. The most important principles in this regard are embodied in the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Administrative Liability Codes.

146.The socially oriented programmes adopted on annual basis by the Government as part of dedicating the current year to resolving a specific social problem form an integral part of the country’s legal system. Such programmes usually contain a legislative part and specific measures to improve the well-being of socially vulnerable population groups, families, mothers, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and young persons. Such programmes receive State funding, and NGOs participate in their implementation.

147.January 2008 saw the entry into force of legislative acts on the abolition of the death penalty, on the transfer to the courts of the power to order pretrial detention and on guarantees of human rights, as well as of a constitutional act on strengthening the role of political parties in the renewal and further democratization of State administration and in the modernization of the country.

148.In practice, inter-agency implementation arrangements take the form of national programmes and plans of action to carry out the recommendations made by the United Nations treaty bodies following their consideration of Uzbekistan’s periodic reports.

Status of international human rights treaties in domestic law

149.By the beginning of 2010, Uzbekistan had concluded over 5,340 multilateral and bilateral treaties and agreements and had acceded to more than 186 of the most important international conventions and treaties, including more than 70 on the protection of human rights and freedoms.

150.An analysis of the domestic legislation underpinning and giving effect to the primacy of international law over national law shows that Uzbekistan’s sectoral legislation is generally based on an acknowledgment of the primacy of the rules contained in international treaties over domestic laws. Under article 1.1 of the Criminal Code, Uzbekistan’s criminal legislation is based on the Constitution and the generally recognized rules of international law and consists in the Code itself.

151.Article 4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure contains the following mandatory injunction: “The Code of Criminal Procedure shall take into account the principles and rules of international law relating to the enforcement of sentences and the treatment of prisoners”.

152.The criminal sentence enforcement rules set out in the legislation may not conflict with international instruments providing protection against torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners.

153.If an international treaty to which Uzbekistan is a party provides otherwise than the legislation on enforcement of criminal sentences, the provisions of the international treaty must be followed.

154.The language most frequently found contains a reference to the rules of international law. For instance, use is commonly made of language along the lines of article 9 of the Family Code: “If an international treaty to which Uzbekistan is a party contains rules which differ from the rules set out in domestic legislation on the family, the rules of the international treaty shall apply”. Such wording merely addresses precedence of application when a treaty contains “rules which differ” only with respect to a specific case, without affecting the force of the given act as a whole. In other words, an exception is made for a particular situation. Here, the treaty does not take precedence over the law: the point at issue is the precedence to be accorded in a specific case. Accordingly, “rules which differ” means rules which abolish or alter the rules of the given act rather than create an exception for a specific case.

155.The precedence of international treaties in specific situations is clearly established in, for instance, such legislation as the Labour Code and the Land Code. Such precedence is accorded to all international instruments which have entered into force for Uzbekistan, since the rules contained in such instruments have been declared a part of domestic law and are consequently of direct application.

156.In the words of the International Treaties Act of 25 December 1995, “the international treaties of Uzbekistan are subject to direct and mandatory application by Uzbekistan in accordance with the rules of international law”.

System of State agencies taking decisions on human rights issues

157.The bodies authorized to deal with human rights issues in Uzbekistan include:

The Legislative Chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis and the local-level State authorities;

The President of Uzbekistan;

The Cabinet of Ministers and the ministries, departments and agencies of the Executive;

The institutions of the Judiciary;

The Office of the Procurator-General.

158.The Oliy Majlis — Uzbekistan’s highest elected representative body — creates the legal basis for the realization and protection of human rights. Since independence, the Oliy Majlis has drafted and adopted more than a thousand acts, most of them designed to provide direct protection of specific rights and freedoms of citizens. The procedure for the ratification of international human rights treaties is implemented by the country’s parliament. Committees of the lower and upper chambers of parliament regularly conduct procedural checks on the application of such treaties and the human rights legislation in force. In 2006, for instance, the Senate carried out a monitoring exercise to check on the application of the Convention in the provinces of the Fergana valley, and in 2005-2006 the Interparliamentary Relations Committee of the Legislative Chamber checked on the application of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Tashkent province.

159.In the period of 2006-2009, compliance with the Convention was monitored as part of scrutiny by, in particular, the Committee on Democratic Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and Citizens’ Self-Governance Bodies, which reviewed the implementation of the Convention by the Ministry of Health (2008), by the Ministry of National Education (2007) and in the Surkhandarya province (2009); and by the Committee on International Affairs and Interparliamentary Relations, which reviewed such implementation in the Kashkadarya province (2006).

160.In 1995, the Oliy Majlis established the Commission on the Observance of the Human Rights and Freedoms of Citizens (later re-organized as the Commission on the Observance of the Human Rights and Freedoms of Citizens attached to the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis (Parliamentary Ombudsman)).

161.In 1995 the Oliy Majlis established the post of Parliamentary Ombudsman, invested with the power to consider complaints of violations of human rights. The Parliamentary Ombudsman operates in accordance with the law. When a complaint is received, the Parliamentary Ombudsman conducts an independent investigation. On the basis of the findings of this investigation, recommendations for correction of the situation are transmitted to the relevant officials and State agencies. The Parliamentary Ombudsman monitors cases of human rights violations in the light of the complaints received. Statistics on complaints, an analysis of their content, and the recommendations issued are transmitted in the form of an annual report to both chambers of the Oliy Majlis and published on the Internet.

162.Under article 93 (1) of the Constitution, “the President of Uzbekistan shall act as guarantor of the observance of the rights and freedoms of citizens and of the Constitution and law of Uzbekistan”.

163.The President of Uzbekistan initiated the drafting of a bill on the introduction of priority measures for the reform and further liberalization of the judicial system. In that connection, seven presidential decrees, three presidential decisions and three presidential orders have so far been issued. The Death Penalty Abolition Act and the Habeas Corpus Act became law as a result of initiatives by the President. National human rights institutions were also established on the President’s initiative. Special attention is always given to the realization of human rights in the President’s statements to joint sessions of parliament.

164.The Cabinet of Ministers — the highest body of executive power — attends to the direct application of the laws and subsidiary legislation adopted by the country’s parliament and of the decrees, decisions and orders issued by the President of Uzbekistan.

165.The Government has adopted a whole array of socially oriented State programmes in connection with the incorporation of the generally accepted rules of international human rights law into domestic legislation and their comprehensive application.

166.Judicial bodies form part of the system of State agencies for the protection of human rights. A considerable role in this system is played by the Constitutional Court, which is responsible for examining questions of the constitutionality of the acts of the Legislature and the Executive. Since its establishment, the Constitutional Court has adopted 14 orders and decisions on the interpretation of provisions of legislation and consequently on the protection of various human rights and freedoms.

167.The system of courts of general jurisdiction attends to the defence of rights and redress for their violation. When considering in plenary session the practice of the courts, the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan pays particular attention to the protection of human rights in all their forms. The decisions taken by the Supreme Court at these sessions constitute official interpretations of the law and are binding on all law-enforcement and judicial bodies. In 2007, for instance, in connection with the introduction of the remedy of habeas corpus and the abolition of the death penalty, the Supreme Court plenary adopted decisions on “certain issues related to the imposition of punishment in the form of life imprisonment” and on “the use by the courts of preventive measures in the form of pretrial detention during pretrial investigations”.

168.In 2009, in connection with the adoption of the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, the Supreme Court plenary adopted a decision on “judicial practice in cases of trafficking in human beings”.

169.The agencies of the Office of the Procurator-General are required to attend to the specific protection of the rights of persons involved in criminal proceedings. The legal status of this Office is established in the Constitution and in the Office of the Procurator‑General Act of 29 August 2001, under which “the Procurator-General of Uzbekistan and the subordinate procurators shall ensure scrupulous and uniform application of the law by all ministries, State committees, departments, State monitoring bodies, and regional administrators and by all establishments, enterprises and organizations regardless of their hierarchical status, affiliation or form of ownership, as well as by military units, civil society organizations, officials and citizens”. In addition to its responsibility for general monitoring of compliance with the law, the Office of the Procurator-General has two special departments concerned directly with human rights: the Department for supervising the implementation of the law in places of detention and pretrial detention and in the enforcement of sentences and other court-ordered coercive measures; and the Department for the protection of the legitimate interests of individuals, society and the State.

170.The Ministry of Justice is invested with considerable powers regarding the realization and protection of human rights and freedoms. Under paragraphs 2 and 6 of its Regulations, one of that Ministry’s main tasks is to ensure the protection of the human rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and the law, and the comprehensive development, and consolidation of the legal foundations, of civil society institutions.

171.The Department for the Protection of Human Rights is a specialized unit in the Ministry of Justice, concerned with direct protection of human rights and freedoms. It was established on the basis of Cabinet of Ministers Decision No. 370 of 27 August 2003 on measures for further improving the work of the Ministry of Justice. Under that decision, human rights protection units under the Department were established in the Ministry of Justice of Karakalpakstan and local agencies of the Judiciary and Tashkent City.

172.The Department exercises the following main functions:

Analyzing human rights legislation and its state of implementation and making proposals for developing the law and improving its application;

Ensuring the protection of the human rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and the law;

Developing measures to enhance the public’s awareness of the law on human rights and freedoms and promoting the concept of respect for human rights and freedoms in society;

Seeking to strengthen the role of lawyers in the defence of human rights and freedoms, developing civil society institutions and consolidating their legal foundations;

Cooperating with international organizations and NGOs working in Uzbekistan to promote human rights and freedoms.

173.By a presidential decision of 15 December 2005, the Centre for Monitoring Compliance with Legislative Acts was set up under the Ministry of Justice in order to establish a system for monitoring the compatibility of the emerging legal and legislative basis and law-enforcement practice with the aims and challenges of the country’s modernization.

174.The agencies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs play an important role in the protection of human rights and freedoms in the country. The investigation of offences is the most visible area of the work of these agencies, often affecting the rights and freedoms of citizens involved in criminal proceedings. Under paragraphs 2 and 1 of the Regulations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, adopted by a Cabinet of Ministers decision of 25 October 1991, “within the limits of its jurisdiction, the Ministry shall guarantee the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, public policy and public security, and shall support the fight against crime”.

175.On 21 August 2003, the Ministry’s Chief Investigations Department and the national Bar Association approved, in a joint protocol, regulations on the procedures for safeguarding the defence rights of detainees, suspects and accused persons at the stage of initial inquiry or pretrial investigation. Under these regulations, lawyers were recruited for every investigation unit of the Ministry’s agencies. A system of lawyers on duty was introduced in these agencies. From the moment of his or her first contact with an investigation agency, every detainee is now guaranteed access to a defence counsel at all times. This procedure is now in place in all the agencies of the Ministry.

176.On instructions from the Ministry issued on 30 September 2005, the Office for the Protection of Human Rights and Cooperation with International Organizations was established in the Department for the Protection of Rights and Relations with the Media. The main functions of this Office include: monitoring of the observance of human rights and freedoms in coordination with the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the National Centre for Human Rights; cooperation and exchange of information with international organizations regarding the protection of human rights and freedoms; promotion of a culture of legality among the Ministry’s personnel and their education in the core legal provisions on the realization and protection of human rights and freedoms.

Reliance on international human rights instruments by judicial bodies

177.Uzbekistan’s legal system recognizes the precedence of international law over domestic law. In order to be applied, an international instrument must be incorporated in domestic law. Following incorporation, the rules of international law become part of domestic law with binding force. Yet citing specific international instruments has not become standard practice for the country’s judicial bodies and remains an extremely rare practice.

Legal remedies against human rights violations

178.Uzbekistan’s legislation spells out clearly the legal remedies against violation of protected rights. These remedies are established in legislative instruments such as the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Courts Act, the Office of the Procurator-General Act, the Citizens’ Applications Act, the Act on Reporting Human Rights and Freedoms Violations to the Courts, the Parliamentary Ombudsman Act, the Legal Profession Act, the Non-Profit NGOs Act, the Regulations of the Ministry of Justice, and the Regulations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

179.Uzbekistan provides several forms of legal protection against violations of human rights. These forms of legal protection may be subdivided into administrative and legal remedies which are consistent and supplement one another. The means of legal protection in question include intermediation and conciliation procedures and more formal legal procedures.

180.There is an administrative procedure for reporting violations of human rights. In the event of such violation by an official of any agency, the person concerned may apply to a higher agency in the hierarchy. Complaints must be considered within 30 days, and the applicant must receive a reasoned reply in writing This procedure is used quite frequently and works effectively.

181.The person concerned may also apply to the procurator’s office, which must likewise consider the complaint within 30 days. The office considers individual complaints as part of its supervisory role, and this procedure may result in the issuance of an instruction by the office for legal action to be taken against the official in question. Lodging a complaint with the procurator’s office also constitutes a sufficiently powerful and effective means of correcting infringements of rights.

182.Since 2005, the Ministry of Justice has had a Department for the Protection of Human Rights, one of whose functions is to deal with applications and complaints concerning human rights violations. When necessary, the Department’s services include free legal assistance with applications to the courts. A considerable volume of such assistance has been furnished in recent years to business persons, farmers and members of the rural population.

183.The Office for the Protection of Human Rights and Cooperation with International Organizations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is involved in the consideration of complaints of human rights violations found admissible by Ministry officials.

184.The Parliamentary Ombudsman and the National Centre for Human Rights are also active in the extrajudicial protection of civil rights in the system of State agencies. When considering complaints, the Parliamentary Ombudsman conducts a separate and independent inquiry and then issues a decision of a recommendatory nature to the officials responsible for ruling on the case. The number of complaints considered by the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the number of positive outcomes demonstrate the public’s trust in her Office. The National Centre also considers complaints regarding human rights violations from the public as part of its monitoring work.

185.There is also a court procedure for the protection of violated rights. Recourse to an administrative procedure does not exclude the possibility of application to the courts for redress. Unlike the administrative procedure, the court procedure triggers costs, and consideration of cases may be lengthy.

186.Recourse to the legal profession, with its network of State and non-State lawyers’ firms and offices, offers another means of legal protection. In addition, the country’s law faculties operate legal clinics providing free legal assistance to members of the public. Protection of human rights is also furnished by civil society organizations, which may appear in court as legal representatives.

Institutions and national bodies monitoring the exercise of human rights

187.In accordance with the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, Uzbekistan established several national human rights institutions: the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the National Centre for Human Rights, and the Institute for Monitoring Legislation, attached to the Office of the President of Uzbekistan.

188.The Parliamentary Ombudsman plays a significant role in the monitoring of compliance with human rights legislation. Using the resources placed at her disposal, the Parliamentary Ombudsman is involved not only in the restoration of violated rights but also in the improvement of domestic legislation.

189.The consideration of applications from citizens and the provision of assistance in the correction of infringements of their rights and freedoms are two of the priority areas of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s efforts to promote cooperation between her Office and State bodies, the courts and law-enforcement agencies, with a view to achieving full and effective observance and protection of human rights and freedoms in the country.

190.In 2009, for instance, the Parliamentary Ombudsman received 10,409 applications (including 7,394 at the central office, 1,294 at the regional offices), of which 1,516 concerned repeat complaints, and provided legal advice or explanations over a helpline in 205 cases. The Parliamentary Ombudsman admitted for investigation 3,515 of the complaints addressed to her concerning infringement of the human rights and freedoms or the legitimate interests of citizens. During the reporting period, a positive outcome was reached in respect of 452 complaints, while the remainder are still under consideration. The Parliamentary Ombudsman received 666 applications from foreign citizens, 48 from penal institutions and 336 handed in at reception offices.

191.The National Centre for Human Rights was established by presidential decree on 31 October 1996.

192.This institution was created in order to coordinate the activities of all the Governmental organizations and NGOs involved in the protection of human rights. It conducts research on the various aspects of the realization and protection of human rights at the national and the international levels; prepares the national reports on Uzbekistan’s fulfilment of its international human rights obligations for submission to the United Nations treaty bodies; organizes educational programmes, seminars, courses of lectures and study trips; provides assistance in developing and implementing human rights study programmes; compiles and disseminates information on human rights; develops technical cooperation and information links with international human rights centres and organizations; coordinates locally the activities of international agencies providing technical assistance in the areas of democratization, governance and human rights protection; and receives and considers complaints from the public concerning human rights violations.

193.The Institute for Monitoring Legislation is a research body of the Executive. In addition to monitoring functions, the Institute provides expert opinions on legislation during the enactment process.

194.The Research Centre on the Democratization and Liberalization of Judicial Legislation and the Independence of the Judicial System is an independent establishment for information analysis and advice, attached to the Supreme Court.

195.The National Child Welfare Centre deals with issues affecting socially vulnerable children. It is an independent organization established by a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers. Its chief functions are to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the social protection of children and to study and draft legislation to protect and give effect to the rights and interests of socially vulnerable groups of children.

196.Uzbekistan also has a network of NGOs involved in the protection and promotion of specific areas of human rights. Such NGOs work in close coordination with the State agencies.

197.The Uzbek National Association of Non-Profit NGOs was established in 2005 in order to coordinate the activities of non-profit organizations. It currently has 330 members, covering all aspects of public life and working in such areas as social support and legal, women’s, youth, environmental and other issues.

198.The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan provides the Government with advisory services on gender policy issues. It was established in 1991 and is publicly funded. The unique feature of this national body is that its chairperson is also Deputy Prime Minister, a circumstance which entitles it to coordinate the social partnership between State bodies, voluntary associations and NGOs. The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan initiates, coordinates and implements Government policy, programmes and projects to improve the situation of women, advises the Government on women’s issues, and disseminates among women relevant information on problems affecting them. In order to maintain a steady improvement in the status of women, the Committee gives particular attention to five priority programme areas: women’s employment and economic welfare; the protection of women’s reproductive rights and reproductive health; women and participation in public life, with special emphasis on their involvement in management and decision-making; women and the law, with special emphasis on the elimination of discrimination against women; and women and education, with special emphasis on the development of professional qualifications and skills. The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan bears the primary responsibility for Uzbekistan’s participation in international efforts to address women’s problems.

199.The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan is the country’s largest women’s organization and has branches in every district.

200.A number of non-profit NGOs work in the field of children’s rights.

201.The Forum for the Culture and Art of Uzbekistan (usually referred to as “Fund Forum”), established in February 2004, plays a notable role in the children’s rights protection system. It is a voluntary, independent, non-Governmental, open association of public organizations and citizens cooperating in order to provide support for national scientific research, culture, education and sport.

202.Fund Forum aims to contribute to the revival of the intellectual heritage and national traditions of the Uzbek people, consolidate the creative potential of eminent social and cultural figures, support talented young persons and traditional artistic nuclei, and disseminate abroad objective information on modern Uzbekistan’s national culture, rich historical heritage and pronounced diversity. In turn fund acquaints the community of Uzbekistan with the tendencies in the world skill and the culture.

203.The major activities of the Forum include: international performances; projects and activities for young persons; creative arts for children; fashion and design; production projects; festivals, exhibitions, concerts and joint projects; charitable works and social projects; sport.

204.The Kelajak Ovozi Youth Initiatives Centre (YIC) was founded in 2006 by young persons, including the winners of various Forum-sponsored projects. It maintains a network of centres throughout the country that bring together over 5,000 young men and women. It regularly holds youth forums, study camps, teleconferences, videoconferences, seminars and other training events based on the activities of young persons in Tashkent and elsewhere in Uzbekistan.

205.A number of projects have been launched under the Centre’s auspices, including:

The Kelajak Tour Bureau of International Youth Tourism and Cooperation promotes the involvement of young persons in tourism, represents Uzbekistan at international tourism fairs and other international events and provides technical support in the holding of major cultural events in Uzbekistan.

The School of Young Entrepreneurs – every year, following a competitive examination, the young men and women accepted to the School study with leading business professionals and trainers, develop their own business plans and carry them out with the support of the project’s organizers and sponsors. The most successful graduates receive grants and other funding for carrying out their business plans.

The Kelajak Lingvo Language Centre gives members of the Kelajak Ovosi Youth Initiatives Centre the chance to study English, French, German, Arabic and other languages free of charge.

The Youth Employment Centre, which assists young persons in finding part-time or full-time jobs in various institutions throughout Uzbekistan, builds contacts between graduates and employers, provides orientation, information and other assistance to young persons and holds job fairs, round tables and other events relating to the employment of young persons. In two years, over 200 young persons have found jobs thanks to the Centre.

The Kelajak Ovozi Youth Television Studios operate in every region of Uzbekistan, where young journalists prepare spots and programmes on aspects of young persons’ lives that are regularly broadcast on the NTT network.

The Dilemma Discussion Club was set up in 2008 and is devoted to promoting debate about social issues, developing speaking and communication techniques and providing experience in moderating discussions among various participants. Such clubs have been opened at the regional branches of the Kelajak Ovozi YIC, and debating tournaments are regularly held at the regional and national levels.

The Kelajak Ovozi newspaper, based at the Kelajak Ovozi Press Centre, has been published since March 2008 in Russian and Uzbek. The newspaper’s creative team is composed of members of the Kelajak Ovozi YIC, journalism students and young correspondents. The newspaper covers interesting events in young persons’ lives and major projects of the Kelajak Ovozi YIC and addresses issues in education, careers and leisure activities. The young journalists are now working on the www.kelajakpress.uz portal in Russian, Uzbek and English.

The Wings of the Future Theatrical Studio. This creative project of YIC members was launched on 1 November 2008. The Studio helps young talents to gain experience in the actor’s craft, in appearing before an audience and delivering their lines; helps them to overcome stage fright; and provides an opportunity to participate actively in the Centre’s activities.

206.The Forum has also set up creative activity centres for children, which educate the younger generation in Uzbekistan’s cultural wealth, preserve ancient traditions, promote Uzbek applied arts and identify and support young talents.

207. For instance, the children’s artistic and creative centre in Samarkand hosts a chess club, a dance studio, a visual arts studio, the “Skilful hands” group, and an English language club, attended free of charge by more than 200 children aged 6-15.

208. The Eski Shakhar creative activity centre for children and young persons hosts a chess and a computer club, a Russian and an English language club, a visual arts studio, and clubs for oriental miniatures, gold embroidery, fashion design and radio electronics; and is attended by more than 500 children aged 6-15.

209.The international non-Governmental charitable foundation Soglom Avlod Uchun (“For a Healthy Generation”) was set up in 1993 with broad public support. Its primary objective is to foster the development of a well integrated personality in children. To this end, it formulates and carries out humanitarian, medical and educational programmes and projects to support gifted children and encourage a healthy lifestyle, as well as programmes targeting vulnerable population groups, children and young persons.

210.The foundation operates in 14 districts of the country, and every district has a focal point. More than 180 local offices and 250 individuals (physicians, teachers, and economists) are working nationwide on existing programmes and designing new ones.

211.Coordination is ensured by the foundation’s central headquarters, which comprises the following departments: protection of mother and child; humanitarian aid; organization and methodology; and financial control and accounting.

212.Most of the work is funded through financial support from local and international sponsors, and through statutory activities of subsidiary enterprises set up under the foundation’s auspices.

213.The foundation is currently one of Uzbekistan’s leading charitable organizations and takes an active part in tackling the tasks set in the State’s social policies and the pressing problems of society.

214.The foundation is the founder of a number of publications, such as the magazine Soglom Avlod Uchun, the newspapers Soglom Avlod (“Healthy Generation”), Oila Va Zhamiyart (“Family and Society”), Tong Yulduzi (“Morning Star”) and Klass! (“Class!”).

215.One of the largest NGOs involved in young persons’ rights is the Kamolot Youth Movement of Uzbekistan. Its chief priority is to unite the country’s progressive youth, to develop physically healthy and spiritually mature citizens of an independent Uzbekistan, to educate them in a spirit of dedication to the national idea and an ideology based on national and universal values and democratic principles, to represent and defend the interests of young persons and to turn Kamolot into an authentic support mechanism for them.

216.Kamolot has a decentralized structure, with 14 provincial and 199 district branches and 1,200 staff members. It consists of 15,800 units in the vanguard of work with young persons that are incorporated in all the educational establishments, military units and Government departments in the country and in a number of industrial and agricultural enterprises as well.

217.The Movement currently has more than 4.5 million members aged 14 to 30 and, together with the Kamalak (Rainbow) Children’s Movement (4 million members aged 10 to 14), it constitutes one of the largest civil society organizations working to develop various forms of local self-Government and helping to form “lead” institutions of civil society.

218.Kamolot has reached out to some six million young persons nation-wide, carrying out some 7,800 spiritual-education measures, round tables, discussions, seminars and conferences, and mass cultural and sporting activities; it has produced 20 technical handbooks, booklets and posters and has published more than 200 articles on specific topics.

219.Kamolot receives active support from the State. In 2006, for example, the President of the Republic issued a decree on support for the Kamolot civil society movement and enhancing its effectiveness under which a foundation was established to raise funds from small businesses, the first of its kind to operate as a partnership. In addition, under an agreement with the Ministry of Finance, the Taxation Committee and the Central Bank, Kamolot does not have to undergo audit and it pays a reduced rate for banking services.

220.The national children’s fund Sen Yolg ’ iz Emassan (You are not alone) started operations in 2002. Its main mission is to provide every form of assistance so that children may lead decent lives and develop fully, to prioritize the family and to uphold the best interests of children in dire need of social support (orphans, children lacking parental support, neglected children, children with disabilities and children from low-income families).

221.The fund operates on the basis of long-term charitable programmes for assistance to children.

222.Its fundamental aims and challenges involve tackling various problems affecting children by:

Protecting the rights and legitimate interest of children in need of social protection;

Developing a well integrated personality in children;

Attending to children’s spiritual and moral education;

Furnishing material, medical, legal and other assistance;

Providing preventive and other health care for children;

Enhancing children’s moral and mental well-being.

223. This foundation’s activities are funded from charitable contributions by residents of Uzbekistan (legal entities and individuals) and by non-residents. It has 15 staff members.

224.Uzbekistan is a multi-ethnic country where more than 140 ethnic cultural centres carry out activities. The Uzbekistan Inter-Ethnic Cultural Centre was established by Decision No. 10 of the Cabinet of Ministers dated 10 January 1992. It coordinates the activities of the ethnic cultural centres and provides them with practical and methodological assistance, thus helping to satisfy the needs of members of the country’s various nations and ethnic groups. It has a staff of 33 and is funded by the Ministry of Finance.

225.The Uzbek Association for Persons with Disabilities was founded in 1991. It has 114 branches in all regions of the country, with a total membership of 120,000 (nationwide there are 850,000 persons with disabilities). It works with about 100 subsidiary enterprises that employ persons with disabilities. The Association focuses on social rehabilitation, educational assistance and equal opportunities to exercise their rights for persons with disabilities.

226.The Nuronni foundation for the social support of veterans was established by a presidential decree dated 4 December 1996 to enhance the effectiveness of the State’s policies for the social protection of veterans and give them a greater role in consolidating the country’s independence and sovereignty.

227.According to the presidential decree and the foundation’s statutes, it is a self‑governing, self-financing, independent non-Governmental non-profit organization.

228.Its main purpose is to vigorously promote the implementation of a strong social policy, especially in terms of respect for veterans, persons with disabilities and the elderly, to establish a favourable social environment for them and to provide them with material, medical and moral support.

Recognition of the jurisdiction of regional human rights courts

229.The Republic of Uzbekistan is not a party to any regional human rights agreements and consequently does not recognize the jurisdiction of regional human rights courts.

3.Framework for promoting human rights at the national level

Dissemination of information on human rights treaties

230.More than 100 of the core international legal instruments on human rights have been translated into Uzbek and published in Uzbekistan in large runs, in close collaboration with international partners such as UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, OSCE and ICRC. The following compilations of international treaties have been published in Uzbek over the past eight years:

The Declaration on the Principles of Tolerance (Tashkent 2000);

International instruments on the rights of minors (Tashkent 2002);

The Republic of Uzbekistan and International Human Rights Treaties (Tashkent, Adolat 2002);

International Humanitarian Law: A Compilation of the Geneva Conventions (Tashkent 2002);

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, The Human Dimension, Helsinki, 1975-1999 (Tashkent 2002);

Documents on UNESCO international standards (Tashkent, Adolat 2004);

International instruments on the work of law-enforcement agencies (Tashkent, Adolat 2004);

International human rights instruments: a compilation (Tashkent, Adolat 2004);

International human rights instruments (Tashkent 2004);

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (Tashkent 2004);

Child Protection: A Handbook for Parliamentarians (Tashkent, UNICEF 2006);

Human Rights: A Handbook for Parliamentarians (Tashkent 2007);

Parliament and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century: A Handbook for Parliamentarians (Tashkent 2007);

Compilation of the core conventions and recommendations of ILO (Tashkent 2008);

Handbook for Parliamentarians No. 3/2002: Eliminating the worst forms of child labour – a practical guide to ILO Convention No. 182 (Tashkent 2008);

Anniversary edition, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Tashkent 2008);

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Rights of the Child Safeguards Act, (Tashkent 2008);

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol (Tashkent 2009);

The Rights of the Child: A Compilation of International Agreements (e-book, Tashkent 2009);

Commentary to the Rights of the Child Safeguards Act (Tashkent 2009).

Study of human rights by civil servants and members of law-enforcement agencies

231.Uzbekistan has a network of educational establishments for the training and continuing education of lawyers and members of law-enforcement agencies. This network includes the university law faculties, the Tashkent State Institute of Law, the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Institute of the National Security Service, the Centre for the Continuing Professional Development of Lawyers and the advanced training courses offered by the Office of the Procurator-General.

232.The Presidential Academy for the Development of the State and Society offers a human rights course for its students. This course includes practical work experience at the National Centre for Human Rights and the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner.

233.The Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs offers the following courses on the application of international law to the work of law-enforcement agencies: “General human rights theory” (40 hours), “Criminal procedure” (180 hours), “Criminal law” (270 hours), “International law” (50 hours) and “Preliminary investigations by law-enforcement agencies” (234 hours).

234.Students taking advanced courses in the administration of law-enforcement agencies are offered a course on international cooperation in the fight against crime (24 hours). Students taking advanced courses are also offered a course on human rights and the work of law-enforcement agencies (30 hours).

235.In the advanced courses for future sergeants that are part of the legal training for law-enforcement officers, instruction is given in the subsidiary subject of human rights and the work of law-enforcement agencies (16 hours).

236.Special attention is given in these courses to international legal standards on human rights and freedoms, in particular international legal safeguards of the rights of persons who have been indicted, are standing trial or have been convicted, the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and protection against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

237.The department for the advanced training of law-enforcement officers at the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs regularly holds sessions (176 hours) on, inter alia, international human rights standards in criminal proceedings and the application of the rules of criminal procedure to the admissibility of evidence under Order No. 12, adopted by the Supreme Court in plenary session on 24 September 2004.

238.Law-enforcement officials directly involved in criminal investigations — investigators, detectives, counter-terrorism agents, local police officers and prison officials — are given training on operational safeguards for human rights on the basis of international human rights standards.

239.The Centre for the Continuing Professional Development of Lawyers is a State educational institution that provides advanced training and refresher courses for staff of the judicial system, court officers and members of the Bar, law professors and legal services staff.

240.The Centre devotes particular attention to raising awareness about the international legal system for the protection of human rights and freedoms. The curriculum includes courses on Uzbek domestic law and international standards of justice, the foundations of international humanitarian law, the legal basis for the fight against international organized crime, the place and role of international human rights standards in the work of law‑enforcement agencies, Uzbek domestic law and international human rights law, and the legal status of the public in international law.

241.The course of studies covers theory and practice of incorporating the following international standards into Uzbekistan’s domestic legislation: the right to life; the right to liberty and security of person; the right to protection of honour and dignity; the right to privacy; the rights of due process and presumption of innocence; the right to protection against torture; and the freedoms of thought, speech, opinion, conscience and religious belief.

242.A presidential order dated 7 November 2007 on the introduction of advanced training courses under the Office of the Procurator-General inaugurated such courses based on the work of the Centre for consolidating the rule of law and upgrading the qualifications of prosecutors and investigators, which was disbanded by the same order.

243.The refresher courses for senior managers entail six months of instruction, while the programme on upgrading qualifications lasts for up to one month.

244.In the period 2005-2007, the Centre taught the following courses, inter alia: “International standards of juvenile justice”; “Problems of the use of habeas corpus during preliminary investigations”; “Cooperation between agencies of the Procurator-General and the Parliamentary Ombudsman in safeguarding civil rights and freedoms”; “International legal instruments relating to the human dimension”; and “United Nations standards relating to officials conducting initial inquiries and other criminal investigations”.

245.The curriculum of the Institute of the National Security Service includes the study of human rights as a separate academic discipline (24 hours). The Institute has a centre on the law of armed conflict in which human rights is also studied.

246.The teaching is interdisciplinary and covers both general aspects of human rights and the specific practical implications with which future members of the National Security Service will have to deal in their law-enforcement work.

247.Some aspects of human rights, in addition to being covered as a separate discipline, are also reflected in other academic disciplines such as theory of Government and the law, criminal law, administrative law, civil law and the law of civil procedure.

248. The Institute of the National Security Service has a unit on the law of armed conflicts, which also teaches human rights courses.

249. International human rights law and national human rights institutions are included in the course of study at the undergraduate level as part of the human rights and international humanitarian law curricula in the international law and international relations departments of the University of World Economics and Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additional courses are given at the graduate level on various issues related to the rights of the child.

250.The study of international human rights standards is part not only of the curriculum for investigators and judges but also of that for the defence ministry’s military colleges. Since the 2005 academic year, such studies have been elective subjects, but from the 2006 academic year, the course on basics of military law will include components on humanitarian law and the law of armed conflicts in which human rights topics will be covered (10-12 hours).

251.The Ministry of Health devotes special attention to the study of human rights as part of the training and refresher courses for physicians. In the courses on forensic medicine at the undergraduate level in all medical schools, the rights of specialists, consultants and junior consultants are explicated. A course is taught on the legal foundations of medical practice in which special attention is paid to the rights and freedoms of the individual, including the rights to life, liberty and security of person, the right to protection against invasion of privacy and the inadmissibility of the use of torture or violence. Another topic covered is the inadmissibility of conducting medical or scientific experiments on a person without his or her consent. These issues are considered from the standpoints of both the patient and of medical personnel.

Study of human rights in educational institutions (schools, lycées, colleges and universities)

252.In accordance with decisions of the Oliy Majlis on a national programme to develop the public’s legal literacy and on a national personnel training programme and with the Education Act, Uzbekistan has established a five-stage system of continuing legal education and training:

Stage I: Legal training in the family;

Stage II: Elementary legal instruction and training in preschool institutions;

Stage III: Legal education in secondary schools;

Stage IV: Legal education and training in lycées (academic secondary schools) and colleges (vocational secondary schools);

Stage V: Legal education and training in higher educational institutions.

253.Legal education and training begins in the family. Since the family is the nucleus of society, it is regarded as the foundation for the formation of the child’s personality and his or her transformation into a well-rounded person. In the light of these goals and challenges, the family occupies a special place at every stage of the design and development of legal education and training courses.

254.Elementary instruction and training in the law is incorporated into the daily games and exercises in preschool institutions. These activities are organized for children in the middle, older and primary school preparatory groups. Children in the middle and older groups are given 16 hours a year of instruction on the Constitution in the form of games, including 7 morning sessions and 2 recreation periods; 16 hours of instruction a year, including 8 morning sessions and 2 recreation periods, are scheduled for children in the primary school preparatory groups.

255.Instruction in concepts such as law, duty and obligation, tailored to the pupil’s age, is introduced in grades 1-4. Forty hours a year are devoted to the study of the constitutional “ABCs”.

256.The subject matter grows more complex in grades 5-7, with the addition of actual examples of the relationship between the State and the individual and the introduction of the topics of personal autonomy, equality of rights, freedom of speech, freedom of information and juvenile criminal liability. In these grades, 51 hour a year are devoted to a course entitled “Journey into the World of the Constitution”.

257.The chief aims of legal education and civics classes in grades 8 and 9 are to:

(a)Teach students about the social, economic, political, legal, scientific and cultural development of the State;

(b)Produce young persons capable of creative thinking and communicating their views on vital human problems.

258.In these grades, 34 hours a year are devoted to the study of the principles of constitutional law.

259.In grades 10 and 11, 68 hours over a two-year period are devoted to acquiring a knowledge of the branches of the law.

260.Every November, the Ministry of National Education and the regional branches of the Children’s Foundation organize a study week on the Convention on the Rights of the Child in all schools, extramural institutions and Mekhribonlik children’s homes, with competitions on such subjects as “Do you know your rights?” and “What is law?”.

261.Since 2005, with assistance from UNICEF, the Ministry has been running a child‑friendly schools programme for, inter alia, showing teachers and students how to solve problems in an amicable, tolerant manner and avoid conflicts and making teachers more aware that cruel treatment of students is inadmissible.

262.In accordance with the State’s educational standard, the curricula for higher and secondary specialized education also include the study of human rights as part of the following subjects:

(a) For students in the fourth year of a bachelor’s degree: human rights (81 hours); jurisprudence and the Constitution (108 hours); and constitutional law (120 hours);

(b)For students in the second year of a graduate degree: human rights (40 hours); and the Constitution (27 hours);

(c)For students in academic and vocational secondary schools (lycées and colleges) there are two courses: jurisprudence and the Constitution (80 hours).

Use of the media to enhance awareness of human rights issues

263.The National Television and Radio Corporation furnishes the means for television and radio coverage of major issues of relevance to Uzbekistan’s political, social and economic development and the protection of human rights and freedoms. The Corporation develops and broadcasts radio and television programmes to ensure that the population is supplied with full, comprehensive information about human rights issues. In recent years the number and quality of programmes dealing with ways of protecting economic, social, cultural, personal and political rights have been steadily enhanced. Attention is constantly given to increasing the effectiveness, content and accessibility of the many programmes aimed at stimulating a broad debate on how to raise the level of education and the political and legal awareness of the public.

264.Radio and television programmes on human rights issues are produced and broadcast primarily by the O’zbekiston radio and television network. From 2005 to 2007, for example, a total of 1,837 programmes on human rights issues were broadcast. A total of 752 radio and television series on the exercise of economic, social, cultural, personal and political rights was aired, together with 414 programmes covering the issues addressed in the international human rights treaties and 2,820 news items on human rights. Items and reports on this topic are regularly broadcast in such news programmes as Akhborot, Takhlilnoma, Assalom Uzbekiston! and Okshom tulkinlarida.

265.Programmes on human rights are also broadcast regularly on the Yoshlar, Sport and Toshkent television channels. In 2007, a total of 410 news items and reports on human rights issues aired on such news programmes as Davr, Davr khafta ichida, Poitakht, Mashal and Yoshlar, 84 on Sport and 34 on Toshkent.

266.Much attention is given to the production of television spots and publicity material on human rights. The television spots, 29 in number, have been devoted to nine basic topics: protection of consumer rights; environment and health; support for talented students; education grants; promotion of entrepreneurship; the rights of orphans and children with disabilities; culture and the arts; support for teachers; and support for women.

267.More than 30 law journals and reviews containing material on the protection of rights are published in Uzbekistan.

268.A database on Uzbekistan’s current legislation has been established and is available on the Internet.

The role of civil society in promoting and protecting human rights

269.Over 5,000 civil society organizations, many of them with regional and local branches, have been set up in Uzbekistan; they have an array of rights and duties enabling them to take an active part in social reform.

270.In the context of Uzbekistan’s administrative reforms, practical steps are being taken to make Governmental consultations more democratic. Inter alia, joint working groups are being set up as an effective means of fostering consultations and cooperation between agencies of the Executive and civil society organizations; representatives of the latter are being included in consultative bodies for the former; public commissions are being established to monitor the implementation of specialized programmes; and ways of involving non-profit organizations in certain aspects of the budget allocation process are being explored.

271.Under the organizational and legal arrangements for the participation of civil society in governance, increasing importance is being attached to public scrutiny of the decisions of the executive branch. For example, environmental associations are entitled to nominate representatives to participate in State environmental impact assessments, to produce their own assessments (which become legally binding once the findings are approved by State expert bodies) and to call on the State to conduct such assessments.

272.The practice of inviting autonomous organizations to help conduct independent expert analysis of draft legislation has been gaining ground in the Oliy Majlis in recent years.

273.National human rights institutions such as the Office of the Ombudsman and the National Centre for Human Rights are developing and extending their cooperation both with non-profit NGOs and with other civil society organizations.

274.These institutions are helping to improve the work of NGOs and supporting their efforts to improve their skills in handling human rights issues by:

Holding special seminars and training sessions for NGOs;

Involving them in efforts to inform law-enforcement officers about human rights;

Monitoring human rights legislation;

Recruiting them to help carry out national plans of action to implement the recommendations of United Nations treaty bodies on Uzbekistan’s fulfilment of its international human rights obligations;

Obtaining from them information about the observance of human rights for inclusion in Uzbekistan’s periodic reports on human rights;

Carrying out joint campaigns to improve public awareness of human rights issues.

275.In Uzbekistan, human rights protection is done mostly by members of numerous NGOs who not only defend the rights of the membership but have also realized the importance of establishing a system of community surveillance of the activities of State agencies. The organizations concerned are chiefly children’s, women’s and environmental non-profit NGOs, associations of the disabled and the elderly, gender focal points, as well as professional organizations, foundations, associations, unions and committees that bring together citizens based on common interests.

276. The following NGOs, among others, make extensive contributions to the protection of human rights: International Red Crescent, Association for the Blind, Association for the Deaf, Association for the Disabled, Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan, Makhalla charitable foundation, NGO “Ecosan Services Foundation”, Soglom Avlod Uchun international foundation, Nuroniy foundation, Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Izhtimoi fikr Centre for Public Opinion Studies, Association of Judges of Uzbekistan, Tadbirkor ael association of businesswomen, National Bar Association, Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan, Chamber of Trade and Industry of Uzbekistan, Association of Women Jurists of Uzbekistan, Mekr association of women’s NGOs, Olima women’s union, and Kamolot youth movement.

277.One important form of NGO participation in efforts to establish international human rights standards in Uzbekistan is the research work done by individual NGOs to identify the causes and conditions which lead to the violation or restriction of the rights of certain categories of citizens.

278.In 2005, for instance, the Oila (“Family”) Centre for Applied Research (a national NGO), in coordination with the Children’s Foundation, carried out research on child disability issues, analyzing the findings of monitoring work by the Muruvvat children’s homes and the Tashkent boarding schools on the extent to which children with disabilities exercise their rights to education, medical treatment, and cultural activities.

279.In the same year, the Centre for the Study of Legal Problems (another NGO), with ILO assistance, analyzed the existing legislation and law implementation machinery to align them with ILO conventions.

280.NGO research helps to identify in time the factors obstructing the realization of human rights and uncover the causes and conditions which lead to violations of the rights of various categories of citizen; and facilitates the formulation of proposals for improving human rights legislation and its practical application.

281.NGOs take an active part in the formulation and improvement of draft legislation on the definition of their legal status and their inter-relationship with the State. NGOs were directly involved in the discussion of the following acts:

Public Associations Act;

Non-Profit NGOs Act;

Citizens’ self-governance bodies Act;

Public Foundations Act;

Human Rights Safeguards Act;

Voluntary Associations Act.

4.Reporting process at the national level

282.Pursuant to a Government decision, the National Centre for Human Rights is the body responsible for gathering information and preparing periodic reports on the application of the international human rights treaties. The Centre is a coordinating body. Its duties include the preparation of periodic reports on Uzbekistan’s fulfilment of its international human rights obligations.

283.Over the 10 years of its existence, the Centre has succeeded in establishing an adequate system for the collection and analysis of information to be included in periodic human rights reports. This has facilitated the preparation and timely submission of such reports to the United Nations treaty bodies.

284.Periodic reports are prepared in accordance with the following documents:

(a)Guidelines on the form and content of reports to be submitted to international human rights treaty bodies;

(b)General recommendations of treaty bodies;

(c)Concluding observations of treaty bodies following consideration of Uzbekistan’s periodic reports;

(d)International treaties in the area of human rights;

(e)New domestic legislation on human rights;

(f)Most recent practice in law implementation and human rights protection.

285.Over the period of its existence, the National Centre has developed special procedures for the preparation of periodic reports on Uzbekistan’s fulfilment of its international human rights legislation. These procedures may be divided into several stages:

Receipt of a communication from the United Nations treaty body in question on the need to submit a periodic report for consideration at a given session of the body;

Creation of a working group by the Centre to prepare a draft periodic report;

Issuance of requests by the Centre for the analytical, statistical and expert information needed for the drafting of the various sections of the report, and receipt of this information from the relevant State agencies and NGOs;

Preparation of a draft report based on the material received, in accordance with the reporting requirements prescribed by the United Nations;

Submission of the draft report for expert examination by the relevant State agencies and NGOs;

Further work on the draft report in the light of the comments and proposals received from these bodies;

Production of the final version of the report and its submission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for dispatch to the treaty body in question in accordance with the established procedure;

Receipt of notification from the treaty body of the date of its consideration of the report and additional questions from its rapporteur in connection with that consideration;

Transmission of the rapporteur’s questions to the relevant State agencies and NGOs and receipt of their replies;

Preparation of replies to the rapporteur’s questions and their transmission to the Ministry for dispatch to the treaty body in question;

Consideration of the report by the treaty body and responses to the questions put by its members;

Receipt of the treaty body’s concluding observations and recommendations resulting from its consideration of the report;

Preparation of comments on these observations and recommendations and their transmission to the Ministry;

Formulation of a national plan of action to give effect to the treaty body’s recommendations;

Continuous monitoring of the implementation of this plan of action.

286.As is clear from this list, the preparation of periodic reports on the fulfilment by Uzbekistan of its international obligations forms the basis and core of the work of the National Centre for Human Rights and is a reflection of the performance of its functions of coordination and analysis. The preparation of such an important document as a periodic report takes quite a long time and calls for hard work by a large number of State agencies and NGOs and academic research organizations, as well as by specialists and experts in various fields.

287.A comprehensive and systematic approach to the preparation of periodic reports must be underpinned by an insistence on the reliability and objectivity of the information obtained from both State and non-governmental sources and on its smoothly coordinated use. This is precisely the National Centre’s approach to the compilation of information for the preparation of these reports. It attaches particular importance to the material obtained as a result of intensive academic and sociological research.

288.Having studied the various opinions and views on individual questions of the realization of human rights and the various interpretations of their definitions and categories, the National Centre reflects in the report the development of social, political and legal thinking in Uzbekistan with regard to various aspects of human rights. This helps the international bodies to understand Uzbekistan’s current situation in terms of the promotion, observance and protection of human rights.

289.Special care is taken in the preparation of the reports to explain the legislative and organizational arrangements for the realization of human rights in Uzbekistan. The reports fully describe the current human rights legislation, indicate the goals and mandates of the institutions which must apply that legislation in practice, and furnish information on the forms and areas of coordination of the activities of the State agencies responsible for delivering human rights. This information provides a full picture of the national human rights machinery and the effectiveness of the application of the international standards in this field.

290.The national plans of action to give effect to the concluding observations of United Nations treaty bodies are confirmed by the Interdepartmental Working Group on the observance of human rights by law-enforcement agencies, which was established by Government Decision No. 12-R of 24 February 2004.

291.The records of the meetings and the decisions taken by this Working Group form the foundation of the periodic reports. Draft versions are discussed by the Working Group at various stages of the preparation of the reports. The decisions of interdepartmental bodies established by order of the Cabinet of Ministers are binding on their member agencies.

292.In July 2007, this Working Group discussed and approved:

The National Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Committee following its consideration of the second periodic report of Uzbekistan;

The National Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations made by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights following its consideration of the first and second periodic reports of Uzbekistan;

The National Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations made by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination following its consideration of the third to fifth periodic reports of Uzbekistan;

The National Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations made by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;

The National Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

293.In December 2007, the Interdepartmental Working Group discussed at one of its meetings the implementation status of the National Plan of Action for the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

294.The National Plan of Action for the implementation of recommendations formulated by the United Nations Human Rights Council following consideration of Uzbekistan’s national report for the Universal Periodic Review, 2009-2011, was adopted in August 2009.

295.In order to improve the National Centre’s work on the preparation of Uzbekistan’s periodic reports on the fulfilment of its international human rights obligations, regular round tables and seminars are held for representatives of State agencies and NGOs to discuss urgent problems of the application of the recommendations of United Nations treaty bodies and aspects of the national plans of action.

C.Information on non-discrimination and equality and effective remedies

296.The Constitution establishes the principles of equality before the law, equal protection of the law and the prohibition of discrimination. Under article 18, all citizens have equal rights and freedoms and are equal before the law, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, language, religion, social origin, opinions, or personal or social status. A separate article, article 46, establishes the equality of rights of men and women.

297.All fundamental principles of equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination deriving from international instruments to which Uzbekistan has acceded are enshrined in the Constitution. Uzbekistan is currently a party to and implements the following international instruments on prohibition of discrimination: International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; Convention against Discrimination in Education; Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention; Convention on the Political Rights of Women; and Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. As an OSCE member, Uzbekistan has assumed obligations regarding ethnic minorities (under the principles set forth in article VII of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, signed in Helsinki on 1 August 1975) and other OSCE documents on the human dimension.

298.The Uzbek legal framework prohibiting discrimination provides protection not only for individuals, but also for social groups as such. Article 18 and chapter X of the Constitution, on safeguards of the rights and freedoms of citizens, are designed to create a legal framework for the protection of individual and collective rights, including the rights of such groups as minors, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

299.The principle of the equality of citizens before the law and the prohibition of discrimination is embodied in sector-specific legislation regulating personal, political, economic, social and cultural rights: the Labour Code; the Civil Code; the Family Code; the Criminal Code; the Education Act; the Youth Policy Foundations Act; the Citizens’ Applications Act, and others. It is also embodied in procedural legislation, including the Code of Criminal Procedure (art. 16), the Code of Civil Procedure (art. 6) and the Code of Economic Procedure (art. 7).

300.The principle of non-discrimination and equality of rights is implemented not only through specific legal provisions affirming it, but also through safeguards for all constitutional rights and freedoms, such as the rights to life, liberty, security, and freedom of thought. Although it does not establish a separate right to equality, article 18 of the Constitution emphasizes the protection of all human rights and freedoms.

301.The Uzbek legal system includes serious penalties for violations of citizens’ equality. The Administrative Liability Code prescribes fines for violating the right to free choice of language in upbringing and education, for obstructing or restricting the use of a language, and for showing disrespect towards the State language or other languages of the various ethnic groups and peoples living in Uzbekistan.

302.Under article 141 of the Criminal Code, it is a crime to violate equality of rights. The offence is addressed in chapter VII of the Code, which lists offences against constitutional rights and freedoms.

303.The concept of discrimination as set out in article 141 of the Criminal Code is practically the same as in article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The difference between the two wordings lies in the fact that the Convention defines discrimination as aimed at “nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”. The omission of such aims in article 1 of the Constitution does not affect the definition of the act itself.

304.Under article 156 of the Criminal Code, incitement to ethnic, racial or religious hatred, namely wilful action offending the honour and dignity of ethnic groups, taken for the purpose of arousing hatred, intolerance or discord with respect to any group, and the direct or indirect restriction of rights or granting of direct or indirect privileges on the basis of national origin, race and ethnicity, is a criminal offence.

305.Under article 153 of the Criminal Code, genocide — the deliberate establishment of living conditions designed to bring about total or partial physical extermination, the forcible prevention of births or the transfer of children from one group of persons to another — is punishable by a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years, as is ordering such actions to be performed.

306.The following public policies are designed to prevent discrimination in all its forms and manifestations:

Ban on the establishment of political parties along racial or ethnic lines (article 57 of the Constitution) and on voluntary associations seeking to foment racial and religious division (article 3 of the Public Associations Act);

Prohibition against the use of religion to foment enmity, hatred or ethnic division (article 5 of the Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations Act);

Prevention of using the media to spread ethnic, racial or religious hatred (Media Act);

Regulation, by the Freedom of Information Principles and Safeguards Act, of the exercise in the media of everyone’s constitutional right to seek, obtain, study, transmit and disseminate information freely and without hindrance;

Prohibition against hindering citizens from exercising their right to free choice of language in communication, the upbringing of children and education (article 24 of the State Language Act);

Promotion of gender equality in political and social life. For instance, the Oliy Majlis Elections Act provides that at least 30 per cent of every party list of candidates for parliament must be women.

307.Every year in the past decade has been devoted to tackling a major social problem and the protection of a specific vulnerable population group. For instance, 1999 was proclaimed Year of Women; 2000, Year of a Healthy Generation; 2002, Year of Older Persons; 2006, Year of Philanthropy and Health Workers; 2007, Year of Social Relief; 2008, Year of Young Persons; 2009, Year of Rural Development and Improvement; and 2010, Year of a harmoniously Developed Generation. The Government adopts a special national programme in keeping with each year’s concept and symbol, comprising measures to support the vulnerable group concerned, financing, and the formulation of appropriate laws and regulations.

308.Under the State programme on the Year of Social Relief, 35,000 veterans were treated in nursing homes, 50,000 poor families were given cattle, 3,000 jobs were created for persons with disabilities but able to work, and charitable assistance was provided to 3 million older persons living alone, persons with disabilities, pensioners and poor families.

309.Public funding for education under this programme accounted for 40 per cent of all budget outlays. The programme included building renovations and the provision of furniture, special equipment and transport facilities to every home for orphans and children with disabilities in Uzbekistan.

310.More than SUM 3,612 million were spent in implementing the State programme on the Year of Rural Development and Improvement.

311.Similar measures have been taken in previous years for the vulnerable groups being targeted at the time.

312.The Nuroniy social support foundation for veterans backed the drive by the Kamolot youth movement to create local “Care” groups offering material and moral support to very old persons living alone, persons with disabilities, war veterans and retired workers. In 2007, more than 23,000 persons were taken under the wing of these groups. The following instruments were adopted: the Cabinet of Ministers decision No. 520 of 7 December 1999 on a programme of measures for 2000-2005 to increase targeted social protection for very old persons living alone, pensioners and persons with disabilities; Presidential Decision No. 459 of 7 September 2006 on a programme of measures for 2007-2010 further strengthening targeted social protection and social services for such persons; Presidential Decree No. 3864 of 19 March 2007 on measures for improving and consolidating the social protection system; Presidential Decree of 18 May 2007 on additional measures for the material and moral support of young families; Presidential Decision No. 1047 of 26 January 2009 on additional measures for expanding the production of foodstuffs to meet the needs of the domestic market; and Presidential Decision No. 1096 of 13 April 2009 on additional measures for protecting maternal and child health and shaping a healthy young generation.

313.In an effort to promote equality, the parliament is currently in the stage of drafting and adopting legislation on equal rights and opportunities for men and women, on social partnership, on social protection and on a children’s ombudsman.

III.Information on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Article 1Right to self-determination

314.In acquiring national independence in 1991, Uzbekistan became entitled to full self‑determination and the independent pursuit of its political, social and economic and cultural development.

315.The people of Uzbekistan opted for building a democratic State ruled by the law, having a market economy and governed by general human principles, according to which the human being, human life, freedom, honour, dignity and other inalienable rights constitute the ultimate value.

316.The State Independence Foundations Constitutional Act of 31 August 1991 provides as follows.

317.Uzbekistan, of which Karakalpakstan is an integral part, is an independent democratic State.

318.The people of Uzbekistan is sovereign and the sole source of State power in the Republic. It exercises that power directly and through the system of representative bodies.

319.Uzbekistan enjoys full political authority, determines independently its national State and territorial governance structure and its system of Government authority and administration.

320.The State frontier and territory of Uzbekistan are inviolable and indivisible, and may not be modified without the freely expressed will of its people.

321.In Uzbekistan, the Constitution and the law are supreme. The system of State authority is based on the principle of the separation of powers between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.

322.The assets owned by the State constitute the material basis of its independence. The earth and its subsoil, the waters and forests, the plant and animal life, and the other natural resources of the territory of the Republic, together with its intellectual values, constitute the national heritage, the assets owned by the Republic of Uzbekistan.

323.Uzbekistan implements an independent financial and credit policy. Taxes and charges collected in the country’s territory enter into the national budget and local budgets.

324.Uzbekistan establishes diplomatic, consular, trade and other relations and exchanges plenipotentiaries with foreign States, concludes international agreements and is a member of international organizations.

325.As an independent international economic actor, Uzbekistan determines conditions for the conduct of foreign investments and the rights of investors, creates its own convertible currency reserves, and sells and buys gold, other holdings and convertible currency.

326.In Uzbekistan, Uzbek citizenship is established in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All Uzbek citizens, regardless of gender, race, nationality, language, religion, social background, views and personal and public status enjoy the same rights and are protected by the Constitution and the law.

327.Uzbekistan determines its way of development, name and State symbols, namely coat of arms, flag and anthem, and its official language. The symbols of Uzbekistan’s independent statehood are sacred and any insult to them is punished by law.

328.The people’s right to self-determination at the political, economic and cultural levels is enshrined in the Constitution and such enactments as, inter alia, the State Language Act of 21 October 1989, the Property Act of 31 October 1990, the State Independence Foundations Act of 31 August 1991, the State Flag Act of 18 November 1991, the Citizenship Act of 2 July 1992, the Nature Protection Act of 9 December 1992, the National Anthem Act of 10 December 1992, the State Coat of Arms Act of 2 July 1992, the Subsoil Resources Act of 23 September 1994, the International Treaties Act of 22 December 1995, the Main Principles of Foreign Policy Act of 26 December 1996, the Free Trade Zones Act of 25 April 1996, the Political Parties Act of 26 December 1996, the Fauna Protection and Use Act of 26 December 1997, the Protection and Use of Flora Act of 26 December 1997, the Non-Profit NGOs Act of 14 April 1999, the Citizens’ Self-Governing Bodies Act of 14 April 1999, the Budget System Act of 14 December 2000 and the Cultural Heritage Protection Act of 13 October 2009.

329.Uzbekistan ensures respect for the languages, customs and traditions of the nations and nationalities living in its territory and creates the conditions for their development.

330.Uzbekistan respects the right to self-determination of the people of Karakalpakstan, a sovereign republic that is an integral part of Uzbekistan.

331. The sovereignty of Karakalpakstan is protected by Uzbekistan.

332.The Republic of Karakalpakstan has its own Constitution. The territory and boundaries of Karakalpakstan may not be altered without its consent. Karakalpakstan independently resolves any issues related to its territorial administrative structure and has the right to secede from Uzbekistan on the basis of a nationwide referendum among the people of Karakalpakstan.

333.Relations between Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan are regulated on the basis of treaties and agreements concluded within the framework of the Constitution of Uzbekistan.

334.Karakalpakstan has established its own system of legislative, executive and judiciary authorities and defines the main thrusts of its political, social, economic and cultural development on the basis of the provisions of the Constitution and law of Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan.

Article 2Main thrusts of the implementation of the Covenant

335.The realization of economic, social and cultural rights ensures satisfaction of vital material and spiritual needs, secures a decent standard of living and social protection, and enables human beings freely and harmoniously to develop their physical, intellectual, spiritual and moral potential.

336. Having acceded to the Covenant in 1995, Uzbekistan follows consistently a policy aimed at progressive and full implementation of the rights enshrined therein.

337.In Uzbekistan, the provisions of the Covenant are implemented through, inter alia:

Legislation which guarantees the realization of the citizens’ economic, social and cultural rights;

State programmes and national action plans aimed at providing support for vulnerable social groups, implementing the recommendations of United Nations treaty bodies, and ensuring actual enforcement of the legislation adopted;

Establishment of supervision and monitoring bodies to ensure the realization of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights;

Extensive awareness-raising, educational and publishing activities;

Participation of NGOs and international organizations in promoting programmes of support for various groups, including, inter alia, children, women, persons with disabilities, older persons, and low-income families.

338.In the period 2006-2010, the legal framework for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights was considerably strengthened. The parliament adopted, inter alia, the Tax Consulting Act of 21 September 2006, the Homeowners’ Associations Act of 12 April 2006, the Consumer Credit Act of 6 May 2006, the Microfinance Act of 15 September 2006, the Microcredit Organizations Act of 20 September 2006, the Business Names Act of 18 September 2006, the Copyright and Related Rights Act of 20 July 2006, the Mortgages Act of 14 October 2006, the Arbitration Tribunals Act of 16 October 2006, the Tax Code (new version) of 25 December 2007, the Roads Act of 2 October 2007, the Iodine Deficiency Prevention Act of 3 May 2007, the Voluntary Associations Act of 2 May 2007, the Vehicle Owners’ Compulsory Civil Liability Insurance Act of 21 April 2008, the Securities Market Act of 22 July 2008, the Rights of the Child Safeguards Act of 7 January 2008, the Disabled Persons Social Protection Act (new version) of 11 July 2008, the Statutory State Social Insurance for Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases Act of 10 September 2008, the Museums Act of 12 September 2008, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 17 April 2008, the Rescue Service and Status of Rescuers Act of 26 December 2008, the Electricity Act of 30 September 2009, the Employers’ Statutory Civil‑Liability Act of 16 April 2009, and the Cultural Heritage Protection Act of 13 October 2009.

339.As part of enhancing legislation and safeguards in the area of human rights, amendments and additions have been introduced into the Health Care Act, the Education Act, the Citizens’ Pensions Act, the Parliamentary Ombudsman of the Oliy Majlis (Parliamentary Ombudsman) Act, the Civil, Criminal, Housing and Administrative Liability Codes, and amendments made in connection with, inter alia, the abolition of the death penalty and the introduction of habeas corpus in Uzbekistan.

340.Uzbekistan continued to accede to international instrument promoting human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, and ratified: the Patent Law Treaty (15 March 2006); the United Nations Convention against Corruption (7 July 2008), the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (10 December 2008), the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (12 December 2007), ILO Conventions Nos. 138 (4 April 2008) and 182 (8 April 2008), the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (8 July 2008), the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the. Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (12 December 2008), the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (11 December 2008).

341.Uzbekistan considered and extensively discussed the recommendations contained in paragraphs 39, 40 and 46 of the Committee’s concluding observations (E/C.12/UZB/CO/1) to become a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Optional Protocol (1967) and to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and ILO Conventions No. 2 concerning Unemployment, No. 81 concerning Labour Inspection in Industry and Commerce, No. 87 concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, No. 102 concerning Minimum Standards of Social Security, No. 129 concerning Labour Inspection in Agriculture and No. 174 concerning the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents.

342.Given that Uzbekistan has acceded to 70 international instruments related to human rights and is taking systematic action towards implementation of their provisions through legislation and the practice of the bodies concerned, accession to the aforementioned international instruments is regarded as premature.

343. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed by the permanent representative of Uzbekistan to the United Nations, New York, on 27 February 2009 and shall enter into force after ratification by the parliament.

344.The provisions of international treaties and legal instruments regulating the procedures for realizing economic, social and cultural rights are implemented under the following programme documents:

State programme on the Year of medical workers and voluntary associations (2006);

State programme on the Year of Social Protection (2007);

State programme on the Year of Young Persons (2008);

State programme on the Year of Rural Development and Improvement (2009);

State programme on the Year of a Harmoniously Developed Generation (2010);

National programme for ensuring the well-being of children 2007-2011;

National Plan of Action for preventing trafficking in human beings 2008-2010;

National Plan of Action for the implementation of ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182, 2008-2010;

National Plan of Action for the implementation of recommendations formulated by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights following consideration of the initial report of Uzbekistan 2006-2009;

National Plan of Action for the implementation of recommendations formulated by the United Nations Human Rights Council following consideration of Uzbekistan’s national report for the Universal Periodic Review 2009-2011;

State and regional programmes on the promotion of employment;

Anti-crisis Programme 2009-2011.

345. In addition to the line ministries and departments engaged in State administration in the areas of the economy, labour and social protection, education, health, culture and sport, the national system of bodies tasked with monitoring the situation regarding human rights protection comprises special structures which monitor legislation and law enforcement within the framework of legislative, executive and judicial power. These structures include the:

Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman of the Oliy Majlis (Parliamentary Ombudsman);

Institute for Monitoring Legislation, attached to the Office of the President of Uzbekistan;

National Centre for Human Rights;

Centre for Monitoring Implementation of Legal and Regulatory Instruments, attached to the Ministry of Justice;

Research Centre for democratizing and liberalizing judicial legislation and ensuring the independence of Supreme Court judges.

346.The scope of special sections set up within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Procurator-General to guarantee human rights and freedoms includes issues related to economic, social and cultural rights.

347.In the period 2008-2009, the Institute for Monitoring Legislation, attached to the Office of the President of Uzbekistan, carried out a comprehensive study and analysis of compliance of State authorities, public organizations and citizens’ self-governance bodies with the Education Act, the Health Care Act, the Entrepreneurial Freedom Act, the Rights of the Child Safeguards Act, the State Health Inspection Act, the Donation of Blood and its Components Act, the Iodine Deficiency Prevention Act, the Disabled Persons Social Protection Act and the Insurance Business Act.

348.With a view to the effective application of the Covenant, a system has been created in the country to provide information on and promote awareness of its provisions and their actual implementation. The system comprises the educational institutions of elementary and intermediate general education, intermediate specialized and higher education, and further training for various categories of civil servants, including judges and law-enforcement staff.

349.The provisions of the Covenant are studied in practically all higher education institutions of juridical profile, including, inter alia, Tashkent State Institute of Law, the University of World Economics and Diplomacy, the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the law department of the National University of Uzbekistan, the National Centre for the Further Training of Legal Specialists in the Ministry of Justice, the Advanced Courses of the Office of the Procurator-General, and the Academy for State and Social Construction, attached to the Office of the President.

350.In 2009, the National Centre for the Further Training of Legal Specialists in the Ministry of Justice was attended by 1,399 trainees, including 113 who took courses to upgrade their qualifications and 266 who were retrained.

351.On 10 December 2009, the Centre, in cooperation with the OSCE Project‑Coordinator in Uzbekistan, carried out a seminar on current problems in human rights education. A human rights resource centre was inaugurated and presented during the seminar.

352.In order to raise the judges’ awareness of international standards in the area of social and economic human rights, the Supreme Court Research Centre carried out in 2009 a series of informational and educational activities and published a collection of international human-rights and crime-prevention legal instruments of the United Nations. A calendar prepared by the Centre in cooperation with UNICEF provides information on the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

353. In the Tashkent State Institute of Law, the subject of implementation of specific provisions of the Covenant in legislative and law-enforcement practice is examined in various study areas and such special courses addressing specific economic, social and cultural rights as, inter alia, “International law”, “Human rights”, “Rights of the child” and “Labour rights”.

354.Uzbekistan’s independent print media and information agencies specifically seek to highlight the rights of children, orphans, disabled children, and youth, among others. Inter alia, the editors of Saodat magazine and of the newspapers Oila va zhamiyat and Ikbol address the problems of mothers and children and the issues of boosting women’s role in the country’s social and political life and of intra-family relations; the newspaper Bekazhon promotes the protection of mothers and children; the newspaper Gulistan news discusses problems and prospects related to the development of children’s sport; the newspaper “Uzbekiston adabieti va sanati” calls for enhancing the skills of talented young persons and placing qualified executives in the media in order to encourage their participation in the country’s sociopolitical, cultural and intellectual life; and Gulkhan magazine praises the merits of healthy living and children’s sport.

355. Currently, of the 1,156 media entities operating in the country (including 79 television or radio broadcasters, 702 newspapers, 244 magazines, 4 information agencies and 108 web sites), 590 are non-Governmental.

356.By thematic focus, of the country’s print media, 237 are sociopolitical, 32 legal, 15 business, 76 sectoral, 19 medical, 63 educational and pedagogical, 7 women’s, 13 tax‑related, 2 religious, 11 sport, and 216 general-interest and advertisement-oriented.

357.Information and awareness-raising activities undertaken on issues related to economic, social and cultural rights in the period 2006-2009 included the following events:

Round table on “Tax system reform for microfinance establishments and financial market participants: problems and prospects”, organized on 3 May 2006 by the UNDP office in Uzbekistan in cooperation with the Association of Banks in Uzbekistan and the “Akhborot-Rating” interbank credit-rating firm;

Theoretical and practical seminar on “Current issues in improving civil law during preparations for Uzbekistan’s entry in the World Trade Organization (WTO)”, organized on 17 May 2006 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry;

Round table on “Findings of the monitoring of the implementation of the Citizens’ Complaints Act in the area of activity of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare”, organized 22 May 2007 by the Monitoring Centre of the Ministry of Justice;

Round table on “Development and improvement of the free legal counsel system for various groups: international and national aspects”, held on 28 October 2008;

Round table on the “Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Uzbekistan: current situation, problems and prospects”, held on 22 December 2009.

In view of paragraphs 10, 36 and 42 of the Committee’s concluding observations (E/C.12/UZB/CO/1), the judicial authorities’ participation in safeguarding human rights was strengthened, and judges are more careful to include references to the Covenant in specific court decisions as a matter of judicial practice, and to study thoroughly and actually apply the provisions of the Covenant. A recently drawn up Supreme Court ruling entitled “On the application of international law standards by Uzbek courts” has been reviewed by experts in key ministries, departments and national human-rights institutions.

On the basis of the observations contained in paragraphs 11 and 37 of E/C.12/UZB/CO/1, further measures are taken to boost the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary. The courts’ material, technical and data-processing infrastructure has been considerably enhanced. In 2009, SUM 3,810 million were allocated to logistic support and 172 official vehicles for the courts, and SUM 8,510 million were spent on court building construction and repair.

358.Court independence was further strengthened through the creation, on 23 June 2008, of the Supreme Court Research Centre, whose purpose consists in analyzing and broadening the legislative framework of judicial activity, and formulating proposals for enhancing judicial autonomy and the application of international human-rights standards by the courts.

359.As part of national legal reform, the issues of lengthening the judges’ term of office, granting them exemption from taxes, and increasing their wage premiums depending on rank and length of service are under discussion.

360.The Association of Judges of Uzbekistan, a public entity, actively participates in the formulation of proposals on strengthening of the independence of the courts.

361.The transfer to the courts, as from 1 January 2008, of the power to order or extend the period of pretrial detention of accused persons considerably bolstered the standing and independence of judicial authorities, strengthening at the same time the safeguards against violations of an individual’s constitutional right to inviolability of the person.

362. Measures were taken to revitalize the parliament’s role in protecting economic, social and cultural rights through the timely adoption of social and economic legislation, parliamentary scrutiny of its application and broad discussion of urgent issues related to the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups.

363.In the period 2006-2009, the legislative chamber engaged in parliamentary control and monitoring of the implementation of, inter alia, article 17 of the Family Code, the Employment Act, the Medicines and Pharmaceutical Activities Act, the Health Care Act, the Disabled Persons Social Protection Act, the Occupational Safety Act, the State Health Inspection Act, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the Act on the Act on Trade Unions, Their Rights and Guarantees of Their Activity, and the Tuberculosis Prevention Act.

364.The legislative chamber and the senate have accorded priority to issues related to recovery from the consequences of the global economic and financial crisis, and to social protection.

365. The following events were held in the senate: a round table on “The state of health reforms: problems and solutions” on 24 January 2007; a round table on “Women, the State and society” on 15 February 2008; and a conference on “Social protection – a State policy priority” on 24 September 2009.

366. In 2009, the following important round tables were held by the legislative chamber: on 15 January, on issues related to the country’s further social and economic development and on support for the enterprises of the real economy; on 22 May, on the global financial and economic crisis and on ways and measures for recovery; on June 3, on international organizations for interparliamentary cooperation; and on October 23, on parliamentary monitoring of compliance with international treaties in Uzbekistan.

367.Tangible results are achieved through research on the state of realization of the rights to employment, health care, social protection, culture and leisure activities.

368.In 2006, the “Public Opinion” Centre carried out a sociological survey among juvenile prison inmates on the implementation of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Penal Enforcement Code, addressing detention conditions and respect for the rights to health care, education, work and food. An opinion poll on migration was carried out in 2007; a sociological study on women and employment took place in 2008; and sociological surveys on, inter alia, women on the illegal labour market, on employment types assessment and prospects, on the social profiles of human trafficking victims, and on public opinion regarding crimes related to human trafficking were conducted in 2009.

369.On 22 June 2010, the National Centre for Human Rights, supported by the OSCE Project-Coordinator in Uzbekistan, held an international conference on “Human rights and freedoms: situation and prospects”, during which issues related to developing and deepening research aimed at resolving current problems in the realization of political, economic, social and cultural rights were discussed, and recommendations were formulated regarding the creation, within the Centre, of a scientific coordination board for studies on issues involving human rights and freedoms.

370.As part of promoting non-discrimination in the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, and in view of the recommendations contained in paragraph 41 of the Committee’s concluding observations (E/C.12/UZB/CO/1), the State intensified supervision to ensure that the internal affairs bodies facilitate the registration (propiska) of citizens at their place of residence in a timely manner. As a result of 1,302 procuratorial inspections of internal affairs bodies and special commissions dealing with registration issues conducted in the period 2006-2010, 1,232 reports of violations of passport system legislation were drawn up, 293 related warnings were issued to civil servants, disciplinary measures were taken against 626 employees of regional central administrations (khokimiyats), and criminal proceedings were initiated in 18 cases.

371.Currently, measures are taken to simplify the procedure for the registration of citizens at their place of residence, and a draft Cabinet of Ministers decision establishing a passport system regulation, including sections on registration, is under preparation.

372.Pursuant to the Presidential Decree of 23 June 2009 on measures for the further improvement of the passport system, citizens as from 1 January 2010 are issued passports with biometric data.

373. Legislative activity regarding legal regulation of economic, social and cultural rights and reinforcement of the protection of the rights of vulnerable social groups is continuing. Draft acts are under preparation or consideration on, inter alia, the children’s Ombudsman, prevention of neglect of minors and juvenile delinquency, guarantees for equal rights and opportunities for men and women, social partnership, public oversight, and (in a new version) trade unions, their rights and guarantees of their activity.

Article 3Ensuring parity between men and women

374.Since becoming an independent State, the Republic of Uzbekistan has demonstrated its commitment to the principles of gender equality. Systematic legal and institutional development of the national machinery for improving the situation of women began in 1995, when Uzbekistan became a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

375.Accession to the United Nations “women’s convention”, the Convention on the Political Rights of Women and the Convention concerning Maternity Protection, together with the signing of the Beijing Platform for Action at the Fourth World Conference on Women, provided the necessary international legal framework for developing specific national measures to incorporate the international standards in legislation and in the activities of Government bodies.

376.Uzbekistan, as a State signatory of the Millennium Declaration, also has an obligation to include the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including Goal 3 (“To promote gender equality and empower women”) in national development programmes and to attain them by the target year of 2015.

377.The provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women have been incorporated in the Constitution and in legislation on electoral, family, labour, criminal, administrative and other matters. The President of Uzbekistan has adopted two relevant decrees: one to enhance the role of women in state and social construction (2 March 1995) and another on additional measures to support the activities of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan (24 May 2004). The Cabinet of Ministers has also adopted the appropriate decisions for implementation of the presidential decrees.

378.The Constitution lays the foundations for the equality of rights between men and women, defines the principles of maternal and child welfare and, most importantly, prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, age, nationality, social status or religion. There is no gender asymmetry in the constitutional provisions: all persons in Uzbekistan have the same political, civil, socio-economic and cultural rights.

379.Eliminating discrimination against women in all areas of life is one of the Government’s policy priorities. To this end, the National Centre for Human Rights, together with State, civil society and non-Governmental organizations, prepared a bill on State guarantees of equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women; it underwent national and international review and in March 2006 was submitted for consideration to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis. This bill is very important for the resolution of gender issues in today’s world: it is designed to regulate the legal framework prohibiting any direct, indirect or hidden gender-based discrimination in society and any violation of women’s equality of rights in the spheres of education, culture or reproduction or in family relations, in line with the concluding observations (para. 43) and general comment No. 16 of the Committee.

380.A draft act on safeguarding equal rights and opportunities for women and men and proposals for its improvement were discussed during a workshop, held on 15-17 July 2008, on implementing and practicing the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

381.The number of women members of Parliament has increased significantly as a result of the legislative amendments designed to encourage women’s participation in political activity. Article 22, paragraph 4, of the Oliy Majlis Elections Act of 29 August 2003 provides that the number of women nominated as candidates for Parliament by political parties should be no less than 30 per cent of the total number of candidates. The number of women deputies in the Legislative Chamber was 33 (22 per cent) in 2009, 12 in 1999 and 21 (17.5 per cent) in 2004.

382.Women hold the posts of Speaker of the Legislative Chamber, Parliamentary Ombudsman, and Deputy President of the Senate.

383.Women account for 16 per cent of officials in the highest authorities of the State and 15.2 per cent in local legislative and representative authorities.

384.One noticeable trend is the increase in the number of women in political parties in Uzbekistan. As at 1 January 2008, women accounted for 40.5 per cent of the total membership of political parties; and for 47.1, 45.6 and 44.5 per cent of the members of, respectively, the National Democratic Party (Fidokorlar), the Liberal Democratic Party (Adolat) and the Democratic National-Revival Party (Milli Tiklanish).

385.Every political party has a “women’s wing”, which prepares women to take part in elections. A data bank has been established on women leaders of political parties and statistical analyses of women’s membership of political parties are produced. A “Politklub” event held on 14 April 2006 by the Academy for State and Social Construction attached to the Office of the President played a significant role in increasing political activity and political literacy.

386.The Chairperson of the Women’s Committee is also a Deputy Prime Minister and the chairpersons of the regional women’s committees are the deputy regional chief administrators of the corresponding territories (14 provincial and 219 district and city chief administrators).

387.Generally speaking, women are adequately represented in Judiciary bodies. As of 1 January 2008, women accounted for: 31.3 per cent of officials working in the Constitutional Court and 25.2 per cent in the Supreme Court; 22.4 per cent in the Supreme Court of Karakalpakstan, the provincial courts and the Tashkent City court, and in the district and city courts; 33.3 per cent in the Higher Economic Court and 26.7 per cent in the economic courts of Karakalpakstan and the provinces.

388.The proportion of economically active women and men was 44 per cent and 56 per cent, respectively. The traditional areas of employment for women are education (40.3 per cent), health (37.7 per cent), culture and the arts (28.4 per cent) and science and scientific services (26.4 per cent).

389. The system for compiling statistical data on gender equality issues improved considerably in recent years. In line with the Committee’s request (paragraph 44 of the concluding observations), the State Statistics Committee (SSCRU) and the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan, have organized the publication of statistical handbooks entitled Gender equality and Men and women in Uzbekistan for the periods 2003-2005 and 2006‑2008.

390.Women are prominent in the efforts to deal with local problems. Uzbekistan has 9,942 citizens’ self-governance bodies local authority bodies, and 1,043 of them are chaired by women. The post of consultant at gatherings of the people has been introduced in the makhallas (neighbourhood councils) to advise members of the public on matters of religious education and spiritual upbringing; these posts are held only by women. Their basic task is to devise and implement measures to ensure stability and a good spiritual and moral environment. There are currently 8,167 consultants working at these gatherings, including 908 in towns, 6,056 in makhallas, and 1,710 in villages (1,569 in kishlaks and 141 in auls).

391.Special importance is attached to the employment of women. Every year thousands of new jobs are created nation-wide, and more than 40 per cent of them are taken by women. Of the 613,800 jobs generated in the period 2005-2007, 198,400 were created in 2005, 204,600 in 2006 and 210,800 in 2007. In 2009, 403,142 women were provided with employment.

392.The women’s employment programme execution rate was 114 per cent in 2007, 112.7 per cent in 2008 and 102 per cent in 2009.

393.Under Presidential Decisions No. 616 on measures to increase employment and improve the performance of the labour and social protection agencies, adopted in 2007, and No. 1251 on measures to improve the structure of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, adopted in 2009, a programme of action was adopted to boost employment and job creation and reduce unemployment. Moreover, important instruments were approved to regulate issues involved in keeping track of unemployed workers.

394.In order to improve the employment situation, the Government has set up regional programmes for the period 2005-2007 and for 2008, 2009 and 2010 to provide employment for women. They are designed to create the number of jobs needed in each region, mainly in the sectors of small business, services and home-based work.

395.Parliament ascribes particular importance to women’s employment. The Government drew up and, for the first time, the parliament adopted a job-creation and employment-promotion programme. It concerns 2010 and provides for the creation in each region of jobs meeting women’s employment needs through the development of small business, the services sector and home-based work.

396.According to Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare statistics, of the approximately 100,000 home-based jobs created in 2009, half were generated in rural areas.

397.In the makhallas, considerable attention is paid to the development of home-based work and the crafts, an area in which new jobs are created for, primarily, low-income family members. The 106,313 small enterprises and service providers currently operating at makhalla level employ 314,801 persons.

398.Of the 294,900 women who in 2009 addressed themselves to employment centres, jobs were found for 249,300. Social protection and vocational training were provided to 45,600 women. The creation of centres for women’s social adaptation based on an apprenticeship approach contributed to developing employment opportunities for women through home-based work, retraining and family enterprises.

399.Handicraft articles made by women are shown at the Kuly guldir uzbek aelin permanent exhibit and fair, organized on the initiative of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan and operating since July 2009. More than 50 women participate in the fair every week to sell their products. Approximately 1,000 women from all of the country’s regions, particularly the remotest rural areas, have already done so and more than 400 different handicraft items have been displayed.

400.Of the 49 credit unions currently operated in the country by women and servicing more than 60,000 persons, 90 per cent belong to the Businesswomen’s Association (Tadbirkor Ayol).

401.Preferential loans are provided for small businesses which employ mainly female workers and are run by women. In 2007 the banks made SUM 90,087 billion available to women entrepreneurs, 214 per cent more than in 2006. To women wishing to engage in a business activity, the joint-stock commercial bank Microkreditbank provided in 2007 more than SUM 11,076 million, 2.7 times more than in 2006, and in 2008 and 2009, respectively, SUM 13.2 and 18.4 billion, making it possible to create 16,579 jobs. In early 2009, there were more than 5 million businesswomen, accounting for 20 per cent of all entrepreneurs.

402.The Tashabbuskor Ayol support centre for women farmers, which is attached to the Association of Farm Enterprises of Uzbekistan, coordinates, out of the country’s 80,628 farming units, 5,450, headed by women.

403.In 2006 the Parliamentary Ombudsman, together with the Women’s Committee and the Council of the Federation of Trade Unions and with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare organized inspections to ensure respect for women’s rights as provided under labour law in the textile industry of the Fergana valley.

404.The exercise covered 18 textile enterprises of various forms of ownership in the Andizhan, Namangan and Fergana provinces.

405.The inspections revealed various flaws and omissions, particularly violations of current legislation on women’s work-related rights and on special benefits for women and persons with family responsibilities; delays in the payment of wages; and non-compliance with current standards and failure to use relevant modern means in the area of occupational safety and health. Of the school children, 51 per cent are boys and 49 per cent girls.

406.The Parliamentary Ombudsman drew up recommendations in order to address the above problems and improve the situation regarding women’s work-related rights in the textile industry of the Fergana valley.

407.In 2007-2008, Parliamentary Ombudsman inspections focused on the exercise of farmers’ rights in the Tashkent, Syrdar and Khorezm provinces revealed difficulties encountered by the workers concerned, including women farmers. Violations of the Farming Enterprises Act were found to be due to the low level of legal awareness of the heads of such units and to the inadequate social protection of farmers. On the basis of the findings, the Parliamentary Ombudsman drew up proposals aimed at improving the Act and launching extensive information and awareness-raising activities targeting male and female farmers.

408.In Uzbekistan, women have equal rights with men with regard not only to employment, but also to education.

409.Of the 508,235 children attending 6,135 pre-school establishments, 49.7 per cent are girls. Currently, every school-age girl must enrol and continue through the ninth grade.

410.Of the more than 6.5 million persons attending the country’s education system as a whole, 3,170,400 (48.4 per cent) are female. Women’s’ rate of literacy is 92.8 per cent.

There is no gender-based segregation in the general education system or other educational institutions. Girls and boys study together.

411.Clear disparities exist in specialized and vocational secondary education. Boys and girls account respectively for 64 and 36 per cent of academic secondary school (lycée) students and for 53 and 47 per cent of vocational secondary school (college) students. In higher education, women account for 39.2 per cent of undergraduates and 33.2 per cent of master’s degree candidates.

412.Of the teachers, approximately 60 per cent are men and 40 per cent women.

413.Of the 35,054 students attending teachers’ colleges of the Ministry of National Education in academic year 2009-2010, 22,214 (63.4 per cent) were women, compared to 35,153 students and 21,694 women (62 per cent) in 2006-2007; 35,638 students and 22,768 women (63.8 per cent) in 2007-2008; and 37,481 students and 23,848 women (63.3 per cent) in 2008-2009.

414.Women account for 38 per cent of all specialists and scientific personnel. There are 8 women academicians, 310 doctors of science (16 per cent) and 3,025 candidates of science (33 per cent). A significant number of scientific and educational institutions have women among their directors: in higher education there 20 pro-rectors, 2 rectors and 34 faculty heads are women, and 390 chairs are held by women.

415. Considerable work is done at the central and local levels on the legal education of women. Information and education activities are carried out by State and non-State bodies in cooperation with international organizations.

416.In line with the Committee’s recommendations, courses and classes on gender equality and the study of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Covenant are included in higher education law studies, and conferences are held on gender equality issues. On 28 February 2007, a conference on gender-sensitive reforms and gender awareness in Uzbekistan was organized in the State Legal Institute of Tashkent.

417.In the period 2006-2008, specialists of the Oila (“Family”) Centre for Applied Research carried out a project entitled Uzbekistonda khotin-kizlar khukuklarini khimoya kilishning akhvolini urganish va uning doimiy monitoring tizimini yaratish or “Study of the situation regarding women’s rights protection in Uzbekistan and development of a related monitoring system”. As part of the project, sociological surveys were conducted among women, criteria were identified regarding women’s legal awareness, and a programme for raising it among rural women was developed and discussed with representatives of various public and State organizations in the framework of applied research conferences, seminars and round tables.

418.In 2009, 22 academic seminars, meetings and discussions with the public were held; and 8 country-wide applied science conferences and more than 450 encounters with higher education students and pupils at colleges, lycées and other schools were organized. In recent years, “Parents Universities” were attached to makhallya committees to raise the legal, social, spiritual, medical and psychological awareness of parents and to change gender stereotypes.

419.Centre specialists, working with Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education psychologists, conduct training seminars in the provinces to prevent violence against women and girls. In January and February 2009, over 15 training seminars and other educational activities were organized. More than 30 monographs, educational study guides and popular science booklets were published in 2008-2009; while 8 study guides for parents ensuring their children’s education were prepared and published. In the last four years, the staff of the Centre published and broadly disseminated 71 study guides and educational booklets as part of the “Family Library” series, published 57 scientific and methodological articles, developed and launched 20 programmes, and formulated 192 recommendations, which were applied.

420.The country’s system for combating violence against women is being improved. A working group has been set up with the Women’s Committee to study international experience in combating violence with a view to preparing a draft act on preventing violence against women in line with the Committee’s recommendations (paragraph 55 of the concluding observations).

421.In accordance with the Citizens’ Communications Act, internal affairs agencies register all reports from women concerning any form of violence against them, and an initial inquiry is conducted to verify the claims. Where violence against a woman or child is confirmed, the initial inquiry file is immediately passed on to the pretrial investigation units of the internal affairs agencies.

422.Of the 4,163 criminal cases opened in the period of 2006-2010 against men for spousal violence, 3,602 involved bodily harm, 239 murder, 121 incitement to suicide, 30 rape, 101 torture and 70 other crimes.

423.According to Supreme Court data, the number of persons convicted for violence against women was 985 in 2006, 994 in 2007, 996 in 2008 and 1,271 in 2009.

424.The relevant departments of the Ministry of Health and the Women’s Committee are responsible, on an ongoing basis, for the social welfare of women who need support and protection from violence.

425. A comprehensive set of preventive and proactive steps to avert violence against women is implemented as part of integrated country-wide measures for preventing, inter alia, crimes against the person, offences in the area of family and household relations, offences in the area of public morality, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and drug trafficking.

426.Women’s NGOs make a substantial contribution to resolving gender equality issues. The total number of such NGOs of various types registered with the justice authorities currently stands at approximately 210, including both national and local organizations and their subsidiaries.

427.The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan is a public association with branches in all regions. Significantly, its chairperson is also Deputy Prime Minister, which enables that body to coordinate social partnerships between State bodies, voluntary associations and NGOs in promoting women’s rights.

428.In the period 2008-2009, the Women’s Committee in cooperation with UNDP carried out a project concerning legal and institutional capacity-building to increase opportunities for women in Uzbekistan. In that context, training in gender-related legislation and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women was provided to various target groups (inter alia, law-enforcement officers, makhalla and regional chief administration officials, physicians, social workers, journalists, teachers and students); a contest was held among journalists for the best presentation of women’s rights issues in the media; and training in assisting domestic violence victims and in examining legislation from a gender perspective was offered to, respectively, physicians and law experts.

429.Women’s NGOs are particularly active in informing the public on gender issues, carrying out relevant research and monitoring women’s rights. More than 40 public organizations are currently trying to help rural women and, in particular, developing educational and awareness-raising programmes, some of the most important of which are “Women and law”, “Women’s education” and “Women and the economy”. The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan, the Institute for Civil Society Studies, the Mehr nuri (“Ray of Mercy”) charitable foundation, the “Women’s Assembly” public association, the Social Initiatives Support Fund (SISF), the Uzbek National Association of Non-Profit NGOs (NANNOUz), the Sen Yolg ’ iz Emassan (“You are not alone”) Children’s Foundation, and the Businesswomen’s Association (Tadbirkor Ayol) actively promote the rights of rural women and constantly work on solutions to their problems.

430.For instance, SISF, which has been active throughout the country since 2004, supports citizens’ initiatives to tackle the issues of promoting a healthy lifestyle, reinforcing the family, enhancing women’s professional, creative and spiritual potential, and expanding their decision-making opportunities.

431.In the period 2005-2007, SISF trained 20 national experts to produce reports on and monitor the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and 20 experts on gender issues; and held round tables in all regions of the country on the topic “Uzbekistan on the road to gender equality in accordance with the Beijing Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the MDGs”.

432.The Fund produced an legal expert assessment of the consistency of domestic legislation with the international legislation on gender equality. A “Gender assessment of the Family and Labour Codes” was published in three languages, and a second educational video on “Uzbekistan on the road to gender equality” was produced.

433. The Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan plays an important role in social support for women. It makes material assistance available to veterans, disabled persons, families with many children, and mothers with children up to three years of age; organizes leisure and health-improvement activities, funded by enterprises, for workers and members of their families; and helps to renew pregnancy and maternity leaves and reduce working hours for women with children.

434. A women’s commission was set up within the Council in order to boost trade union action for the protection of women’s rights, enhance women’s role and social status, and expand and intensify women’s participation in political, economic and cultural affairs. Similar commissions have been created and operate within most of the regional associations and sectoral councils of trade union organizations.

435.In November 2008 the Council organized an international seminar on “Women: the labour market and employment”. On 1-3 April 2009, with the participation of representatives of trade union centres of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a subregional seminar of the women’s network of the International Confederation of Trade Unions for the Countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus was held on “A comprehensive approach to gender equality issues in collective bargaining”.

436.In the recent past, information activities for women have been enhanced and the level of their legal, political, economic and environmental awareness has been rising.

437.The National Television and Radio Corporation regularly transmits broadcasts related to the rights of women, such as “Women and society”, “Women of Uzbekistan”, “The free economy”, “Women’ happiness”, “My dear ones”, “Family”, “Your lawyer”, “Law and life”, “Pals” and Radioadvokat.

438.Seminars and round tables organized in the period 2006-2009 on the subject of gender equality by the relevant ministries or departments and public organizations were regularly highlighted in the news bulletins of the programmes entitled Akhborot, Takhlilnoma, Sunggi akhborot, Okshom tulkinlarida, Davr, Davr yangiliklari, Poytakht, Khabarlar and Mashal akhboroti.

439.In the period 2006-2009, the country’s independent television and radio stations transmitted 957 television or radio broadcasts and news announcements on issues related to gender equality and the protection of women’s rights.

Article 4Prohibition of subjecting citizens’ rights to unwarranted limitations

440.The guidelines for human rights legislation and for fundamental rules that public bodies must take into account in ensuring the realization of human rights are laid down in the Constitution as follows:

Equality of citizens’ rights before the law and in court; and non-discrimination in relation to gender, race, nationality, language, religion, social origin, views, and personal or public status (art. 18);

Privileges accorded solely on the basis of the law and the principles of social justice (art. 18);

Inalienable individual rights and freedoms under the Constitution and the law; and prohibition of denying citizens’ rights or restricting them without a court decision (art. 19);

Rights to freedom and privacy denied (through arrest or pretrial detention) only on the basis of the law (art. 25);

Non-subjection to medical or scientific experiments without consent of the person concerned (art. 26);

Inviolability of private life, the home, personal correspondence and telephone conversations and restriction of such rights only in cases and according to procedures established by law (art. 27);

Freedom of movement within, into and out of the national territory subject to limitations provided for by the law (art. 28);

Right to lodge complaints with the authorities according to the law (art. 35);

Legally guaranteed confidentiality of bank deposits (art. 36);

Legally guaranteed protection from unemployment and forced labour (art. 37);

State-guaranteed right to rest and social security in accordance with the law (arts. 38 and 39);

Right to complain to the courts against illegal acts committed by public bodies or officials (art. 44);

Guaranteed freedom of economic activity, enterprise and labour; equal rights and legal protection of all forms of ownership; and inviolability of private property (art. 53).

441.The above constitutionally guaranteed standards and principles underpinning human rights and freedoms in Uzbekistan are aimed at facilitating, as the State has an obligation to do, the realization of those entitlements of the citizens. The personal rights, freedoms and responsibilities enshrined in the Constitution and national law define the legal status of a citizen.

442.The State’s policy is based on the inadmissibility of any unwarranted restriction of the rights and freedoms of citizens. There may be no such restrictions based on gender, race, nationality, religion, language, origins, views, or personal or social status.

443.Under article 19 of the Constitution, the rights and freedoms of citizens embodied in the Constitution and the law shall be immutable, and no one may deprive a citizen of these rights and freedoms or restrict them except by order of a court. The human rights of liberty and security of person, freedom of movement and freedom to hold and express opinions may not be restricted except on grounds established by the law, the supremacy of which is enshrined in article 15 of the Constitution.

444.Uzbek legislation and practice are thus fully consistent with article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to which everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

445.To be lawful, restriction of human rights and freedoms by the State must be:

(a)Based solely on the law.

(b)Imposed in order to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of others; and must satisfy the requirements of moral decency, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. Rights and freedoms may nevertheless be restricted in exceptional circumstances. National law on procedures and mechanisms for the realization of civil rights and freedoms establishes precise and clear conditions and grounds for the limitation of certain categories of such entitlements.

446.Uzbek law and practice are fully in line with article of 4 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article of 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and preclude any non-compliance with the latter’s articles 6 (protection of the right to life as an inalienable right), 7 (prohibition of torture and cruel treatment or punishment), 8 (prohibition of slavery and slave trade), 11 (prohibition of arbitrary imprisonment for failing to fulfil a contractual obligation), 15 (specification of the criminal and punishable character of offences) and 18 (protection of freedom of conscience).

447.In Uzbekistan attention is paid to safeguarding the enjoyment of human rights in emergency situations. The Act on the Protection of the Population and Territory from Natural and Anthropogenic Emergencies, which came into force on 20 August 1999, establishes the principles of the protection of the population in emergency situations: a humanitarian approach, precedence of human life and health, publicity, provision of reliable and prompt information, and introduction of protective measures against emergency. The Act spells out the basic functions of the central and local authorities in protecting the population and territory in emergencies and, in the same context, the rights of citizens, foreign nationals and stateless persons in respect of protection of their life and health, access to State agencies, and compensation for harm done to health.

448.On 3 August 2007 the Government adopted the State Programme on the Forecasting and Prevention of Emergencies, the purpose of which is to ensure a guaranteed level of protection for the population and the territory against emergency situations, to reduce the risks and mitigate the impact of accidents, disasters and natural calamities.

449.The activity of public bodies in protecting the population against natural or anthropogenic emergencies is also regulated by, among other acts, the Labour protection of Hazardous Industrial Installations Act of 28 September 2006, the Rescue Service and Status of Rescuers Act of 26 December 2008 and the Fire Safety Act of 30 September 2009.

450.Pursuant to article 93 (19), of the Constitution, the President of the Republic, may in exceptional circumstances (a real external threat, mass disturbances, major disasters, natural calamities or epidemics) and in the interests of public safety, declare a state of emergency for the whole country or for individual localities and within 72 hours shall submit that decision to the Oliy Majlis chambers for confirmation; the conditions and procedure for the declaration of states of emergency must be regulated by a special legislative act.

451.Following consideration of Uzbekistan’s national reports on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Committee recommended in its concluding observations the adoption of a special act regulating states of emergency to ensure a clear delimitation of the State’s retreat from its human rights obligations in such situations.

452.Following consideration of the national report submitted by Uzbekistan for the Universal Periodic Review in December 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council also recommended establishing a legal framework safeguarding human rights and freedoms during a declared state of emergency.

453.The question of drafting an emergencies act is currently under discussion. Such an act would specify the conditions, grounds and procedure for declaring a state of emergency and the action to be taken by the central and local authorities and NGOs in an emergency situation. It would address specifically the issue of safeguarding the rights of citizens and legal entities in emergency situations: inter alia, administration of justice by the courts alone without the creation of any extrajudicial bodies; prohibition of any restriction of the right to life; freedom of thought, conscience and religion within the meaning of these rights in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; inadmissibility of retroactively applying legislation criminalizing an act or imposing a more severe punishment; and entitlement to compensation for damage caused as a result of the declaration of a state of emergency.

454.On 8 April 2010, the National Centre for Human Rights in cooperation with the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Ministry for Emergencies organized a conference on theoretical and practical approaches to human rights and freedoms under state of emergency conditions.

455.It was noted at the conference that international standards concerning the legal formulation of state of emergency declarations by the State require drawing up and adopting a special act which would regulate issues related to the protection of human rights under state of emergency conditions in accordance with international principles. It was stressed that an extreme (emergency) situation consists of an array of factors menacing society, threatening vital personal, social and State interests, and calling for regulatory action and an administrative subsystem that are different from those applicable to normal conditions.

456.The conference was attended by Oliy Majlis deputies and senators, representatives of ministries, departments, NGOs and foreign diplomatic missions, legal experts, human rights specialists and the media.

Article 5Means of exercising the right to judicial protection of civil rights and freedoms

457.The following means of protecting economic, social and cultural rights and redressing violations of such rights have been developed in Uzbekistan in accordance with the Constitution.

458.First, there is the remedy of application to the relevant State agencies, which are must, in accordance with established procedures, receive, consider and settle complaints from citizens by verifying the applicants’ grounds and reply to them in writing, describing the action taken to restore their rights (administrative protection). The Citizens’ Complaints Act of 12 December 2002 prohibits transmitting an application to the agency whose decisions or acts are being contested, publishing information on the applicants’ private lives, and prosecuting applicants or members of their families in connection with an application. The authority dealing with the complaint must allow the applicant to use the services of a lawyer or a representative and must take immediate action to terminate unlawful acts or omissions and to compensate the applicant, in accordance with the established procedures, for any material or moral harm suffered as a result of the infringement of any rights, freedoms or legitimate interests. Of the 3,102 citizen complaints regarding violations of labour law and other social and labour rights that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare examined in the period 2006-2009, 663 were considered in 2006, 844 in 2007, 794 in 2008 and 761 in 2009.

459.Second, there is the remedy of application to the courts concerning unlawful acts or decisions of State agencies or officials (judicial protection). In that connection, of the 3,100 labour dispute claims heard by civil courts in 2006, 2,774 were upheld. The numbers of claims heard and claims upheld in 2007, 2008 and 2009 were, respectively, 3,444 and 3,014; 3,439 and 3,095; and 2,154 and 1,932.

460.Third, there is the possibility of application to the Parliamentary Ombudsman concerning a violation of civil rights or freedoms once the applicant has exhausted the remedies described above (extrajudicial protection). The Ombudsman is empowered to consider complaints from citizens of Uzbekistan and from foreign nationals and stateless persons present in its territory and to conduct his or her own investigations; and does not consider matters falling within the competence of the courts. After verifying the grounds brought forward by the applicant, the Parliamentary Ombudsman transmits her or his findings to the State agency in question, together with recommendations for restoration of the applicant’s rights. Of the 23,195 applications filed in total in the period 2006-2009, 8,297 or 35 per cent consisted in complaints submitted to the Parliamentary Ombudsman regarding violations of economic and social rights. Of those complaints, 15.2 per cent concerned housing and utilities issues, 8.3 per cent the protection of labour- and employment-related rights, 6.5 per cent family protection issues and 6.2 per cent violations of the right to social protection.

461.Fourth, there is the possibility of application to agencies of the Procurator-General, which supervise the application of legislation by ministries and departments, enterprises, establishments and organizations and regional chief administrators, as well as the conduct of the preliminary investigation of offences and the treatment of persons held in penal institutions. These agencies consider reports and complaints from the public and take action to restore any violated rights. When there are sufficient grounds, a procurator is entitled to institute criminal or administrative proceedings against persons who have allowed violations of human rights and also to institute and pursue court actions if the person whose rights have been infringed cannot defend his rights in court in person for reasons of health or old age. Of the 46,415 complaints and statements concerning violations of economic and social rights that were examined by procuratorial authorities in the period 2006-2010, 10,334 were upheld through the restoration of the rights infringed, while administrative and disciplinary action was taken against, respectively, 42,492 and 53,654 officials, financial penalties were imposed on 10,410 persons and criminal charges were brought in 4,362 cases.

462.In the same period, the procuratorial agencies ensured the voluntary payment of damages in the amount of SUM 3,856.3 million related to social, housing and economic rights; defended the rights of citizens before general courts in 41,482 cases involving SUM 46,627.6 million; and brought action before business courts in 299 cases concerning the protection of citizens’ economic rights and involving SUM 1,294.2 million.

463.Fifth, there is the option of application to a judicial body empowered to defend the human rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution and the law by considering objectively and comprehensively applications from the public concerning violations of constitutional rights and freedoms and by adopting measures in accordance with the law.

464.In 2006 such judicial bodies received 4,571 applications and considered the merits of 2,402 (52.5 per cent) of them: they decided in favour in 2,113 cases (87.9 per cent) and gave explanations of the legal position in 1,085 cases (45.1 per cent). In 2007, they received 4,302 applications and considered the merits of 4,260 (99.0 per cent) of them: they decided in favour in 1,032 cases (23.9 per cent) and gave explanations of the legal position in 1,486 cases (34.5 per cent). In 2008, they received 4,288 applications and considered the merits of 2,842 (66.2 per cent) of them: they decided in favour in 783 cases (23.9 per cent) and partly in favour in 157 cases (6.7 per cent) and gave explanations of the legal position in 1,127 cases (48.1 per cent). In 2009, they received 5,921 applications and considered the merits of 3,448 (58.2 per cent) of them: they decided in favour in 2,337 cases (39.5 per cent).

465.In 2009, 978 recommendations were issued with a view to correcting violations of the law, 186 decisions were called off, and disciplinary measures were taken against 1,439 offenders, 98 of whom were relieved of their duties.

466.Moreover, in order to correct identified violations of legislation, 278 warnings and 246 orders were issued, together with 301 directives on the initiation of administrative proceedings, resulting in administrative actions against 337 offenders. There were 37 rulings on the initiation of criminal proceedings, as a result of which 12 persons were prosecuted.

467.Judicial bodies received 1,759 applications for damages in excess of SUM 1,189 million: 1,757 of those applications, totalling more than SUM 720 million, were upheld, and 1,538 of the compensation orders were fully enforced, in a total amount of more than SUM 572 million. Pursuant to the judicial decisions on 215 applications, action was taken against 81 officials for compensation for moral and material harm (SUM 78 million and SUM 5 million, respectively).

468.Sixth, there is the option of application to law offices offering legal assistance to individuals and legal entities on the basis of the principles of independence of counsel, strict compliance with professional ethics, secrecy of counsel, and recourse to ways and means of defence not prohibited by law. Uzbekistan currently has 23 bar associations, 348 law firms and 438 law offices employing 3,834 lawyers. The rights and duties of lawyers are set out in the Bar Act of 27 December 1996 and the Act on Safeguards for Lawyers’ Legal Practice and Social Protection of 25 December 1998, as well as in the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Administrative Liability Code. In 2009, attorneys participated in the examination of approximately 40 cases of administrative liability for environmental offences, 37 cases of administrative liability for offences related to housing rights and community services, and 2,400 criminal cases involving environmental offences.

469.Seventh, there is the possibility of application to NGOs which are empowered by their statutes to defend the human rights of their members and participants. For instance, the mission of the Uzbek National Association of Non-Profit NGOs (NANNOUz) is to furnish NGOs with comprehensive support, promote their statutory activities and enhance their performance in all areas of the life of society. In 2007 the Association’s executive units furnished information and legal assistance in response to more than 1,500 requests, made in writing and orally. When addressing its members’ problems, the Association enters into discussions with the executive and administrative authorities, thereby developing and improving the arrangements for cooperation between NGOs and the authorities and acting as intermediary and guarantor of members’ rights.

470.Of the 89,960 communications addressed to Uzbek trade-union organizations in the period 2006-2009, 6,369 were received by the central councils of sectoral trade unions and 79,466 by regional trade-union associations.

471.The communications and complaints concerned mainly flaws in the activity of economic bodies and officials; issues related to wages or the organization of implementation of labour standards; the keeping of labour record books; illegal dismissals and transfers; employment issues; the organization of working hours and rest; labour protection, safety equipment and violation of standards and regulations relating to occupational health and the ecology of the working environment; working conditions for women and adolescents; problems related to the protection of workers and young trainees; payment of damages; the issuance of vouchers; and the activities of health-improvement, cultural and sport facilities.

Article 6Right to work

472. Under article 37 of the Constitution, everyone has a right to work, free choice of work, fair working conditions, and protection against unemployment as prescribed by law.

473.Forced labour is prohibited, except to enforce a court sentence or in other instances specified by law.

474.With a view to developing the constitutional norms that safeguard every person’s right to work, to the free choice of work, to fair working conditions and to protection against unemployment, Uzbekistan adopted, inter alia, the Labour Code, the Employment Act, the Labour Protection Act, the Farming Act and the Peasant (Dekhkan) Farms Act.

475.The State’s employment policy and measures to provide work for everyone ready to begin working or looking for work are based on the following principles:

Equal opportunities in the exercise of the right to work and the right freely to choose one’s employment for all citizens, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnic origin, language, social background, property and official status, attitude towards religion, views or other circumstances unrelated to the professional qualities of workers or the results of their work (article 5 of the Employment Act);

Support and encouragement for work and entrepreneurial initiatives, and promotion of the people’s capacity for productive and creative work that provides them with decent working and living conditions;

Voluntary nature of work;

Social guarantees in the area of employment and protection against unemployment;

Synergy between measures in the area of employment and in other areas of economic and social policy.

476.Additional legislative measures were recently adopted in order to increase employment.

477.The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 6 April 2007 on measures to increase employment and improve the performance of the labour and social protection agencies introduced the measures in question and launched the creation of job placement units attached to major village assemblies and district or city employment-assistance centres.

478.In April 2007, liability was established in the Administrative Liability Code (art. 241-1) for preventing a lawful entrepreneurial activity by violating registration procedures, unlawfully refusing registration or authorization of an entrepreneurial activity, or violating business inspection procedures.

479. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 15 May 2007 on the improvement of the registration of Uzbek citizens travelling abroad to work established a format for the preparation and presentation of comprehensive and quantitative information regarding the persons in question and laid the foundations for annual sociological surveys on issues related to labour emigration from Uzbekistan and for monitoring the situation of Uzbek citizens abroad.

480.The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 8 May 2007 on measures to increase employment and improve the performance of labour and social protection agencies specified the powers of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Employment Assistance Centre and established the Scientific Centre for Employment, Labour Protection and Social Protection in the above Ministry.

481. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of April 21 2008 on additional measures providing greater incentives for increasing the livestock of private subsidiary farming units, small family farming units and farms and for expanding animal breeding production was aimed at boosting employment in the rural areas and the volume of output in meat and dairy products, satisfying domestic demand and enhancing support for the rural population through microcredits enabling those units and farms to acquire cattle.

482. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 30 June 2008 on measures for improving the assessment and reporting of the coverage by the general secondary, specialized secondary, vocational and higher education system and boosting the graduate’s employment established procedures for keeping track and monitoring such employment and entrusted the local authorities with effective supervision in that area.

483. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 1 July 2008 on measures for improving the organization of home-based work and increasing the responsibility of the heads of local authorities and economic administration to create appropriate conditions for its development was designed to support persons engaged in home-based work by providing them with necessary equipment, tools, supplies, compensation for the expenses incurred in connection with such work, and strengthening supervision to ensure that the workers in question receive orders, raw materials, other materials and remuneration in a timely manner.

484.The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 20 August 2008 approving a regulation on the procedure for reserving jobs for persons in need of social protection or experiencing difficulties in finding work specified categories of persons needing social protection who should be hired on a priority basis on jobs created in and funded by organizations and enterprises. These categories are, inter alia: single or large-family parents bringing up children under 14 years of age or disabled; young graduates; persons completing compulsory military service; persons with disabilities; workers not having attained the age of retirement and registered with district or city employment assistance centres; and persons released from prison or undergoing compulsory medical treatment pursuant to a court decision.

485.The Presidential Decision of 15 May 2009 on measures for further support and development of entrepreneurial activity provided for a reduction in cadastral documentation service rates and State registration fees in the case of legal entities or individuals engaging in entrepreneurial activities; and for the liability of officials infringing the rights of entrepreneurs.

486. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 29 July 2009 on measures for the development and expansion of family enterprises and craftwork established a regulation on the types of such activities and a procedure for launching them and for the involvement of persons aged at least 15 in such activities.

487.The level of employment in the country is directly linked to economic and social development and to the stable functioning of industry, agriculture, education, culture, science and the services sector.

488.The economic and social reforms undertaken in Uzbekistan have had a quantitative and qualitative impact on employment.

489.As a result of economic stability and consistently high rates of growth through the programme of anti-crisis measures, 2009-2012, the employment rate, taking into consideration the self-employed, persons engaged in business without setting up any legal entity, the family members who help them and other categories of employed persons, stands at 96 per cent of the economically active population.

490. In 2008, for instance, GDP grew to 109 per cent and industrial production attained 112.7 per cent (117.7 per cent in the case of consumer goods), while the services sector output increased by 21.3 per cent.

491.Other fundamental economic sectors also developed steadily. Thus, construction grew by 8.3 per cent, transports by 10.2 per cent and trade by 7.2 per cent. Agriculture grew to 104.5 per cent, while 3.41 million tons of raw cotton and 6.33 million tons of grain, including 6.145 million tons of wheat, were produced.

492.The Government budget has been over-executed. Instead of an expected deficit, a surplus equal to 1.5 per cent of GDP has been achieved.

493. Foreign investment in the Uzbek economy has consistently increased in recent years. In 2008, it amounted to approximately US$ 1.7 billion (46 per cent more than in 2007), of which 74.0 per cent consisted in direct investment. Despite the ongoing global crisis, foreign investment in 2009 increased to US$ 1.8 billion, with direct investment accounting for more than three fourths of that amount. Almost 54 per cent of total investment is funded from equity and personal savings. These developments further vindicate the country’s tax policy, aimed at reducing the tax burden and stimulating entrepreneurial investment.

494.The Development and Reconstruction Fund, established two years ago with registered capital that currently exceeds US$ 3.2 billion, is crucial to the implementation of projects strategic for economic structural reform and modernization and focused on production infrastructure. There are plans to increase the Fund’s assets to US$ 5 billion in the near future. In the last two years, the Fund provided more than US$ 550 million to finance or cofinance tens of large industrial and infrastructure projects.

495.Of the 423 production units with a total fixed capital of approximately SUM 250 billion that were put into operation in the country through the investment programme, 145 belong to the food sector, 118 to the construction materials industry, 65 to the light and textile industries, 58 to agriculture and forestry, 13 to the chemical and petrochemical industries, and 8 to the pharmaceutical industry.

496.Priority has been given to building and launching facilities in the social sector. Such projects have comprised, inter alia, the construction of 169 new vocational secondary schools (colleges) for 113,200 students, 23 academic secondary schools (lycées) for 14,700 students and 69 new schools; and major reconstruction in the case of 582 schools, 184 children’s sport facilities, 26 rural medical centres and 7,240,000 square meters of housing.

497.Measures taken to optimize the size of land parcels allotted to farming was a key to the increase in employment in 2008. Private farming units, initially considered inefficient and unprofitable shirkats without prospects and vowed to extinction, are currently rightfully regarded as the leading component and cornerstone of agricultural production.

498.Considerable resources and allocations are earmarked for agricultural support every year. Of the approximately SUM 1 trillion channelled into the main forms of agricultural production in 2008 alone, SUM 800 billion concerned cotton production and SUM 200 billion grain production. While in 2009, SUM 1.2 trillion were earmarked for the same purposes.

499.More than SUM 43 billion in 2008 and more than SUM 58 billion in 2009 were earmarked for the relevant fund and used for leasing agricultural equipment.

500.In 2008, farming enterprises accounted for 99.1 per cent of raw-cotton and 79.2 per cent of grain production.

501.Measures taken to reduce further the tax burden on economic entities, cut uniform tax rates for micro-enterprises and small businesses from 10 to 8 per cent (7 per cent in 2009) and lower personal income tax rates while improving the relevant tax scale stimulated the development of firms, small enterprises and private business.

502.As a result, the number of small enterprises in operation increased in the last six years by a factor of 1.9, attaining approximately 400,000.

503. The volume of the industrial output produced by small enterprises increased by almost by 22 per cent, a rate significantly higher than the average indicator for the sector as a whole. As a result, small enterprises’ share in GDP increased from 45.5 per cent in 2007 to 48.2 per cent in 2008. That sub-sector currently accounts for more than 76 per cent of total employment.

504.Along with the accelerated development of small business and private enterprise, considerable importance is ascribed to the development of the services sector, the broad introduction of various forms of home-based work and the stimulation of livestock breeding in the rural areas.

505. Of the more than 661,000 new jobs generated in 2008, more than 374,000 were created in the small business sector, approximately 220,000 in the services sector, and 97,800 through home-based work.

506.Fastest development rates occurred in the communication, computerization, financial, bank and transport services, automobile repair and household equipment. The dynamic development of information and communication technology services, which in the last four years increased on the average by 50 per cent p.a., is particularly noteworthy. As a result, the share of the services sector in GDP attained 45.3 per cent in 2008, compared to 42.5 per cent in 2007.

507.The development of home-based work through cooperation with production firms is regarded as crucial. Accordingly, a system of incentives has been created for the employing enterprises and the home-workers. Such work made it possible to involve women, especially with many children, and persons with disabilities or limited capacity for work, in the production process. In 2008, home-workers produced items and provided services of a total value of SUM 34 billion. In view of the advantages offered, enterprises that created jobs for home-based work realized savings in excess of SUM 1 billion.

508.Increasing the number of persons raising cattle as part of private subsidiary and peasant (dekhkan) farming constitutes another key to promoting employment, especially in rural areas.

509.A system has been set up in the country for selling cattle to individuals and farming enterprises through auctions, extending preferential targeted loans, expanding and improving veterinary services, and providing fodder. The number of cattle auctioned was 20,300 heads in 2008 and 24,600 in 2009. Preferential loans for the purchase of cattle totalled SUM 48.2 billion in 2008, compared to SUM 42.5 billion in 2007.

510.A special form of support for low-income families consists in providing them with cows free of charge. Since 2006, such families have been granted more than 103,000 bovines. As a result, as at 1 January 2009 more than 1.1 million persons were registered as raising cattle as part of private subsidiary and peasant (dekhkan) farming, new labour record books were issued to 54,000 persons, and relevant entries were made in the existing labour record books of more than 111,000 persons.

511.In 2010, the job-creation and employment-promotion programme formulated pursuant to the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of 28 September 2009 is aimed at boosting employment and the population’s income and standard of living, ensuring effective use of the existing potential of the country’s regions and economic sectors through an increase in the demand for labour, and expanding the responsibilities of the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan and of provincial, city and regional chief administrations in the area of job creation and practical resolution of issues involved in raising employment.

512.In 2009, the programme translated into 932,600 new jobs, 1.4 times more than in 2008, including:

62,600 jobs in large production and infrastructure facilities;

311,100 jobs in small businesses, including 203,000 in the services sector, 50,400 in industry (of which 9,000 in the processing of agricultural products and in meat and dairy production, and 8,500 in foodstuff and confectionery production), 7,400 in garment, footwear and furniture production, 6,500 in the production of construction materials from local raw materials, and 57,700 in other sectors of the economy;

77,900 home-based work jobs generated in cooperation with enterprises (mainly in the apparel, silk, furniture and electronics industries), including 52,600 jobs created through the development of the crafts, traditional trades and family enterprises, and 26,000 jobs through contractual work performed at home.

513. Of the total number of jobs created, 213,300 were generated through the implementation of the programme of anti-crisis measures.

514.The measures taken in 2009 contributed to an increase in the number of new jobs in the following provinces with a great number of job seekers: Samarkand (73,000), Kashkadarya (72,000), Fergana (71,000), Andizhan (57,000), Namangan (52,000) and Khorezm (46,000).

515. The programme provides for the creation in 2010 of 950,000 jobs, namely 18,000 more than expected in 2009.

516. The implementation of the programme is monitored by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, by the Ministry of the Economy and, with regard to regional and sectoral programme parameters, by the regional agencies of those ministries.

517.In ensuring the exercise of the right to work, steps are taken to prevent forced labour.

518.Although not a party to the Slavery Convention, Uzbekistan complies with its fundamental provisions. Forced and involuntary labour is prohibited in Uzbekistan.

519.All forms of forced labour are prohibited under Uzbek law. Forced labour, namely coercion to carry out work under threat of any kind of punishment (including as a means of maintaining discipline in the workplace) is prohibited. Work that must be performed on the basis of legislative instruments concerning military or alternative service, in emergencies, in pursuance of a court sentence that has entered into force, or in other circumstances provided for by law are not considered forced labour.

520.Pursuant to articles 43 and 64 of the Criminal Code, a person convicted by a court may be sentenced to work of a punitive nature, consisting of compulsory work with deduction by the State of between 10 and 30 per cent of earnings, performed in accordance with the court’s sentence in the person’s place of work or in other places determined by the authority supervising the enforcement of the sentence. This type of work may be ordered for a period of between six months and three years. It may not be imposed on persons of pensionable age, persons unfit to work, pregnant women and women on maternity leave, or serving members of the armed forces.

521.On 7 January 2008 Uzbekistan adopted, on the recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Rights of the Child Safeguards Act, which incorporates virtually all of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 10 of this Act stipulates that the State must protect children against all forms of exploitation, including physical, mental and sexual aggression and torture and other cruel, harsh or degrading forms of treatment, as well as against soliciting for sexual purposes and involvement in criminal activities or prostitution.

522.In April 2008, in line with recommendations formulated by the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the parliament ratified ILO Conventions No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (4 April 2008) and No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour; and the Government adopted the National Plan of Action for the implementation of ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182, 2008-2010. In accordance with that plan, the legislation and the practices of public bodies, employers and parents were aligned with the provisions of those conventions.

523.The Labour Code stipulates the minimum age for admission to employment. That age has been raised from 14 to 15. In fact, with a view to preparing young persons for work, general-education and special or vocational secondary education students who have turned 15 may be admitted to employment during non-study periods to carry out light tasks causing no harm to their health or moral development and no disruption to their education, subject to the written consent of a parent or person in loco parentis.

524.An act of 21 December 2009 amending the Administrative Liability Code in order to improve the legal protection of the rights of minors established administrative liability for citizens, including parents, who use child labour on jobs that may harm a child’s health, safety or morals. Employer liability for violating labour and occupational safety and health laws with respect to minors was also increased.

525.A regulation adopted by Government decision regarding the procedure for the practical training of vocational college students of in enterprises, establishments and organizations lays down mechanisms and conditions for such training.

526. A procedure for admitting to employment children aged up to 16 adopted in December 2008 by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan regulates in detail labour relations between the employer and workers aged up to 15, inter alia requiring completion of general, specialized or vocational secondary education.

527.By joint decision of 29 July 2009, the Ministries of Labour and Social Protection and of Health established a list of types of work characterized by untoward working conditions which may not be performed by persons under 18. The list includes manual picking of cotton.

528.The same ministries, by joint decision of 15 January 2010, adopted a regulation on the mandatory non-admission of minors to employment, specifying the types of work subject to that requirement, laying down working hours and wages for children, prohibiting parents from using force or any punishment to compel children to work, and establishing a procedure for children’s participation in family enterprises or craft work.

529.A monitoring system has been set up to prevent forced labour. The bodies participating in the system are the Office of the General Procurator, the Ministries of Internal Affairs, of Labour and Social Protection and of Education, the Centre for specialized and vocational secondary education in the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, the Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan, the Kamolot Youth Movement, the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan and local State authorities.

530.In 2008 procuratorial authorities carried out 231 inspections to check compliance with the minors’ rights under labour and employment legislation. As a result, 383 recommendations were formulated; warnings were addressed to 336 persons; 347 contestations of documents as illegal were lodged; disciplinary, administrative and financial sanctions were imposed on, respectively, 548, 224 and 81 officials; and criminal charges were brought in 9 cases.

531. In 2009, 260 inspections were carried out. As a result, 439 recommendations were formulated; warnings were addressed to 395 persons; 323 contestations of documents as illegal were lodged; disciplinary, administrative and financial sanctions were imposed on, respectively, 991, 218 and 39 officials; and criminal charges were brought in 27 cases.

532.Measure against forced labour include the adoption of the Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 18 March 2008 and of the National Action Plan against Human Trafficking, 2008-2010, of 5 November 2008, and the creation of the National Rehabilitation Centre which assists and protects human trafficking victims, offers them living and hygienic conditions, food and medication, and helps to provide them with urgent medical, psychological, legal and other assistance, ensure their security, establish contacts with their relatives and promote their social rehabilitation.

533. In the period 2008-2010, the internal affairs services, taking into consideration paragraph 25 of the Committee’s concluding observations, investigated under article of 135 of the Criminal Code (“Human trafficking”) 3,278 criminal cases involving human trafficking. Of those cases, 1,412 were brought before the court. Of the 2,025 persons prosecuted in that context, 654 were women and 1,371 men.

534.Of the total number of prosecuted women, 1 was under 18; 84 were aged 18-25; 193 25-30; 189 30-40; and 187 were older than 40. Of the total number of prosecuted men, 126 were aged 18-25; 295 25-30; 522 30-40; and 428 were older than 40.

535. For citizens leaving to seek employment abroad, information sessions on the conditions, labour and migration law and customs prevailing in the country of destination are organized at the centre for pre-exit adaptation and training of the External Labour Migration Agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. In 2009, 5,002 citizens left Uzbekistan in that framework to work in other countries under bilateral inter-State agreements.

Article 7Just and favourable conditions of work

536.Working conditions within the meaning of the Labour Code consist in the entire set of social and production factors entering into the work process (art. 88).

537.The social factors include, inter alia, the wage, working hours, leave and labour protection.

538.The employer is obligated to notify workers in writing and against receipt of any forthcoming change to working conditions at least two months in advance. A worker may appeal to a court against such a change.

539. A worker may request a change to working conditions from the employer, who must reply in writing to announce his or her decision within three days.

540.In order to develop programmes to improve working conditions and labour protection in organizations and establishments, equip work sites in accordance with labour protection rules and prevent industrial accidents, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted by a decision of 12 November 2008 a regulation on the procedure for establishing a labour protection fund in enterprises, organizations and establishments and for utilizing the assets of that fund. The fund is to be financed from the organizations’ earnings and with the voluntary contributions of legal entities and individuals, including receipts from abroad and other sources.

541.Compliance with the workers’ right to favourable conditions of work is subject to inspection and monitoring by the Labour Protection Department and the regional offices of the State Legal Inspectorate of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

542. The Labour Protection Department is responsible for State monitoring of compliance with labour protection law in order to ensure safe working conditions, adequate prevention and the related legal protection of workers; and to analyze, and identify ways to eliminate, the causes of injuries, occupational diseases and disabilities.

543.The Employers’ Statutory Civil-Liability Insurance Act of 16 April 2009 makes it incumbent on the employer to have civil liability insurance coverage for any work-related loss of life or injury, occupational diseases or other damage to the health of any worker. Victims may file a written claim for damages with the employer or the insurer.

544.The Cabinet of Ministers decision of 24 June 2009 implementing the above act lays down the rules governing the insurance in question, specifying inter alia the procedure for concluding, amending or denouncing the relevant contract, and laying down the amounts of insurance.

545.The Ministry of Health and the health and epidemiological control services monitor compliance with the workers’ rights to labour protection.

546.In 2009 the health and epidemiological control services inspected 13,371 industrial and agricultural enterprises. Based on the findings of those inspections and of laboratory research and on instrument readings, orders were issued to improve working conditions, and measures were taken to reduce the concentration of harmful factors of production at the workplace within the permissible range. In view of gross violations of health standards and rules, the operation of 248 entities was halted, 2,654 officials were sanctioned, and 2,285 persons dismissed.

547.One of the basic measures for preventing occupational diseases consists in periodic medical examinations for workers employed under hazardous working conditions in line with Ministry of Health Order No. 300 of 6 June 2000. Of the 667,806 persons subject to a medical examination in 2009, 93.2 per cent were examined. In that year, 44.3 per cent of the total number of occupational disease cases identified were diagnosed thanks to the medical examinations in question.

548.The annual number of newly recorded chronic occupational disease cases is on the decrease. From 121 in 2009 it declined to 70 in 2005.

549.Of the 70 chronic occupational disease cases recorded in 2009, 19 concerned women. All chronic occupational disease and all acute intoxication cases are investigated according to the established procedure, health-improvement measures are developed and appropriate measures are taken. Basically, of the 70 cases recorded, 19 were diagnosed with chronic intoxication by toxic chemicals used in agriculture; 23 cases were detected in enterprises of the Almalyk Mining-Metallurgical Complex, joint stock company, including 14 cases of silicosis and 1 case of pneumoconiosis; and 9 case involved occupational diseases at cotton plants.

550.The monitoring of working conditions in industrial and agricultural enterprises by the State Public Health Inspectorate has been intensified with a view to preventing occupational diseases. Accordingly, more than 53 health standards and rules and hygiene guidelines regarding occupational health in various industrial sectors and requirements regarding the rating of harmful or hazardous factors in the working environment have been drawn up. A Ministry of Health order on the conduct of medical examinations, both preliminary (upon entry into employment) and periodic (in the course of employment), is currently being drawn up. Every five years, physicians receive further training in occupational medicine in the Tashkent Institute of Continuing Medical Training; and State Public Health Inspectorate specialists conduct roving thematic conferences and seminars for all primary care physicians.

551.Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare orders setting labour protection rules for various industrial, agricultural, academic and cultural areas have been implemented. More than 40 such orders were adopted in recent years and so did a comparable number of specific orders establishing standard rules for issuing free special clothing, footwear and other personal protection items to various categories of workers.

552.Particular attention is paid to labour protection in the case of children and adolescents with a view to preventing damage to their health and physical and mental development. The Ministries of Labour and Social Protection and of Health adopted regulations, by a decision of 15 January 2010, on the mandatory non-admission of minors to employment and, by decision of 29 July 2009, established a list of types of arduous work for which persons under 18 may not be employed.

553.Taking into consideration the recommendation contained in paragraph 51 of the Committee’s concluding observations, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted on 19 February 2010 a decision on organizational measures to improve Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare monitoring and supervision of compliance with labour, employment and labour protection legislation.

554. Pursuant to that decision, steps were taken to intensify the activity of the State Legal Inspectorate of Labour, which protects the rights of the parties to labour relations and takes measures to prevent and prohibit, in accordance with the law, forced labour and work‑related discrimination.

555.In accordance with the schedule of inspections approved by the National Council for the Coordination of the Activity of Monitoring Bodies, State legal and technical inspectors carried out 1,179 inspections in 2006, 1,171 in 2007, 1,172 in 2008 and 433 in 2009.

556.As a result of such inspections, charges for violations of labour, labour-protection and employment legislation were brought against 4,992 employers and officials in 2006, 6,264 in 2007, 7,224 in 2008 and 4,955 in 2009.

557.Timely payment of wages, whose minimum amount is set by Presidential Decrees, is a key favourable condition expected of employers. Workers are ensured equal pay for work of equal value regardless of gender, nationality or any other circumstance.

558.In 2008, a draft act on remuneration for work, including a definition of “minimum wage”, was drawn up and opened to broad discussion.

559.Presidential Decrees increasing the minimum amount of wages are promulgated every year in order to raise the population’s standard of living. In the period 2006-2009, that amount was more than quadrupled.

560.Thus, that amount increased in 2006 from SUM 9,400 as of 1 January to SUM 10,800 as of 1 July and SUM 12,420 as of 1 November; in 2007 to SUM 15,525 as of 1 August and SUM 18,630 as of 16 November; in 2008 to SUM 20,865 as of 1 April to SUM 25,040 as of 1 September and SUM 28,040 as of 16 November; and in 2009 to SUM 33,645 as of 1 August and SUM 37680 as of 1 December.

561.In Uzbekistan the principle of equal opportunities for occupational advancement is guaranteed for all, including women. Article 6 of the Labour Code prohibits employment‑related discrimination based on, inter alia, gender and race. There are numerous examples of women occupying offices in, inter alia, the Executive, as deputy ministers; the Legislature, as Oliy Majlis deputies or chairpersons of Oliy Majlis committees; the Supreme Court, as members; and important public associations, as managers.

562.Under the Labour Code, workers are entitled to annual leave for rest and leisure and to retention of their job and average earnings during that period.

563.In addition to basic leave, workers are entitled to leave increments depending on age, health condition and arduousness of their job. Accordingly, minors and persons with category I and II disabilities are entitled to 30 calendar days of leave. The following categories of workers may take their leave in the summer or any time convenient for them: single parents, persons with category I and II disabilities, war veterans, persons under 18 years and part-time students.

564.Through the assistance of trade-union bodies, workers may spend their leave in health-improvement facilities or recreation centres.

565.At the level of enterprises and organizations, significant steps are taken to enhance the collective agreement provisions on which favourable working conditions are based.

566.The percentage of legal entities having entered a collective agreement increased from 84.7 per cent in 2006 to 87.9 per cent in 2009. The 113,000 collective agreements concluded nationwide in 2009 reflected the interests of 4.9 million workers or 92 per cent of employed trade-union members.

567.The content of collective agreements has noticeably improved, largely through procedures for expert review of draft agreements, registration of the agreements adopted and sectoral statistical reporting on their implementation.

568.Analysis shows that more than 80 per cent of collective agreements with enterprises explicitly preclude termination of any employment contract by the employer without the trade-union committee’s prior consent. That stipulation protects 98 per cent of employed members of trade unions from illegal dismissal.

569.On the basis of collective agreements, of all employed trade-union members 50 per cent take an extended basic annual leave and 40 per cent additional leave.

570.In 2009, average expenditure per worker for implementing collective agreements in the country amounted to SUM 314,000, having increased 2.7 times in the preceding four years.

571. Once collective agreements are concluded, trade-union organs organize systematic monitoring of their implementation. At least once per year, relevant issues are examined at the general assemblies or meetings of labour associations.

Article 8Right to form trade unions

572. In Uzbekistan, trade unions function on the basis of the Act on Trade Unions, Their Rights and Guarantees of Their Activity of 2 July 1992.

573.In order to improve trade union activity in line with the promotion of a market economy in the country, steps have been taken to prepare a new version of the above Act. To that end, a provision was introduced in the Government’s 2007 legislative agenda (para. 6) regarding such a draft Act, which is currently in the stage of reaching consensus among all public bodies and NGOs concerned.

574.One of the basic entitlements of trade unions, which comprise 6,665,038 members, is the right to bargain with the employer on the main terms of collective agreements and accords on behalf of the workers, and to monitor their implementation.

575. The activity of trade unions is based on national-, sectoral-, regional- and local-level social partnership in respect of labour.

576.In national-level social dialogue, the workers’ interests are represented by the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan, which cooperates constructively with the Cabinet of Ministers and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and has achieved:

Further improvement and strengthening of the social protection system;

Readjustments of the minimum wage, which has quadrupled, pensions and benefits;

Gradual reduction of tax rates for legal entities and a cap on personal income tax;

The adoption of radical measures to reduce the volume of extra-bank transactions involving disposable funds and thereby ensure the timely fulfilment of State commitments regarding social transfer payments;

The introduction of sectoral wage scales and a system of work incentives to increase the workers’ incomes in sectors financed from the budget (public education, specialized higher and secondary education, health and pharmaceuticals, and culture);

Reduction in informal employment through systematic measures to boost home‑based work, encourage raising cattle in private subsidiary farming units and in farms, and develop the services sector;

The drawing up of the first collective agreement model, approved by the three social partners: Government (Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare document No. 76/1 of 29 December 2008), workers (Council of the Federation of Trade Unions document No. DZh-05/641a of 29 December 2008) and employers (Chamber of Commerce and Industry document No. ASh-07-2675 of 30 December 2008).

577. The Federation of Trade Unions has formed a partnership with the Legislative Chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis. Trade-union leaders and specialists participate in the meetings of the parliamentary committees on Employment and Social Questions, on Legislation and Judicial Questions, and on Democratic Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and Citizens’ Self-Governance Bodies. Round tables with parliamentary committees are held on a regular basis.

578. The Federation of Trade Unions cooperates closely with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the National Centre for Human Rights, the Women’s Committee, the Kamolot Youth Movement and the Nuroniy foundation for social support for veterans. Accordingly, trade unions are able to address the interests of various worker categories during collective bargaining.

579.Of the regional agreements currently in force in the country, 14 concern Karakalpakstan, the provinces and Tashkent City; and 44 concern areas and cities subordinate to provincial authorities.

580.Of the sectoral agreements, 80 (including 10 tariff agreements) are national-level; 230 are regional-sectoral and concern Karakalpakstan, the provinces and Tashkent City; and 359 are regional-sectoral and concern areas and cities subordinate to provincial authorities.

581.Sectoral (including tariff) agreements (concluded between the sectoral trade unions concerned and the employers) are key regulatory instruments laying down basic guidelines for the social and economic development of the sector, the working conditions, the minimum wage and guaranteed social benefits for the workers of the sector.

582.As a rule, they contain sections on:

(a)General provisions, the scope of agreement and the recognition of the trade union;

(b)The employment contract and employment guarantees;

(c)Working hours and periods of rest;

(d)Wages;

(e)Labour protection;

(f) Social safeguards and social matters;

(g)Spiritual and moral instruction and group activities related to physical education and health improvement;

(h)Guarantees for the activity of trade unions;

(i)Procedures related to the implementation of the agreement.

583. On the side of employers, parties to sectoral (including tariff) agreements are State and economic administration bodies, public associations and employers’ associations.

584.At the level of enterprises and organizations, significant steps are taken to enhance the collective agreement provisions on which favourable working conditions are based.

585.The percentage of legal entities having entered a collective agreement increased from 84.7 per cent in 2006 to 87.9 per cent in 2009. The 113,000 collective agreements concluded nationwide in 2009 reflected the interests of 4.9 million workers or 92 per cent of employed trade-union members.

586.Trade-union organizations are actively involved in the protection of economic, social and cultural rights, including the realization of children’s and young persons’ rights to health care and leisure activities, the enhancement of the economic potential of women, older persons and rural inhabitants, the defence of environmental rights, and the provision of social assistance to low-income persons.

587.Trade union bodies monitor the fulfilment of the administration’s obligation to ensure environmentally sound working conditions, inspect regularly the environment in the workplace and promote the social protection of the interests of victims of industrial accidents or workers with occupational diseases.

588.Under article 13 of the Labour Protection Act, where production takes place under harmful or hazardous working conditions or in especially high temperatures or in polluted environments, workers are issued free special clothing, footwear and other personal protection items, cleaning and disinfecting agents, milk or equivalent dietary items, and food of therapeutic or preventive value.

589.For a number of trades and types of production, enterprises organize medical examinations, both preliminary (upon entry into employment) and periodic (in the course of employment), in accordance with Ministry of Health Order No. 300 of 6 June 2000.

590.Required every five years, the certification of workplace conditions in enterprises and organizations makes it possible to identify any hazardous production factors affecting the health of workers and to take measures to reduce the impact of harmful substances on the organism.

591.Labour protection clauses in collective agreements provide for annual preventive measures to improve the health, sanitary and environmental situation at construction and processing sites, shops and related spaces.

592.As part of public monitoring of enterprises and organizations, trade unions focus on the creation of just and favourable conditions of work by the employers in line with the Covenant.

593.In 2009, training was provided to 60 per cent of the 32,200 workers elected by the labour associations of enterprises and organizations to be responsible for labour protection.

594.In 2009, in accordance with article 9 of the Labour Code, labour protection specialists of trade unions examined working conditions and environmental safety in more than 5,500 enterprises and provided practical assistance towards improvement in that area. More than 1,200 legal recommendations regarding labour protection were formulated. Such specialists participated in State committees inspecting the operation of 1,500 production facilities.

595.As a result of the measures taken by employers and trade unions to promote environmental safety, labour protection and appropriate working conditions, the country’s rates of industrial accidents, fatal ones in particular, decreased in 2009 by, respectively, 2.5 and 4.5 per cent compared to 2008.

596.The Statutory State Social Insurance for Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases Act of September 2008 and the Employers’ Statutory Civil-Liability Act of April 2009, in whose preparation the trade unions participated, enhanced considerably the social protection of workers affected by work-related injuries or occupational diseases and of their dependents.

597.One of the components of trade union activity consists in the organization of health‑improvement and leisure activities for workers’ children in children’s health camps. Every year, more than 245,000 children aged 7-14 participate in such activities as sojourning or day visitors in 800 facilities.

598.In the last five years, 22,355 children from Priaralya and more than 18,000 children raised in orphanages attended children’s health camps free of charge. Trade union committees earmark 10 per cent of free transport passes for children from families with many children or low-income families and children raised in orphanages or residential schools.

599. In the summer of 2009, more than 245,000 children vacationed in health camps; and 120,275 children benefited from health improvement funded through social insurance.

600.In order to make the protection of the rights and interests of young persons more effective, Youth Councils were set up in 2008 and are currently functioning in trade union bodies at all levels.

601. Trade union bodies monitor the implementation of social assistance measures (including activities funded by, inter alia, employers, trade unions and sponsors) for older persons, especially those living alone.

602.Trade unions pay special attention to the rural population. During 2009, Year of Rural Development and Improvement, the following initiatives were undertaken under collective agreements and accords:

SUM 4,296.2 million in financial assistance were provided to 103,698 needy rural workers of 18,893 enterprises and to members of their families;

SUM 819.1 million in financial assistance were provided to 11,786 rural mothers working in 5,248 enterprises and organizations and bringing up children aged 2-3;

SUM 997.9 million were used to cover part of the cost of training contracts with 625 enterprises for 1,327 students, internal immigrants and trainees from rural areas;

SUM 355.4 million were used to cover, in 1,516 enterprises, the cost of pregnancy and maternity leave increments for 6,635 rural women;

SUM 1,233.3 million were made available, through 7,571 enterprises, to 52,635 rural low-income families or families without a breadwinner;

SUM 1,390.2 million were made available in the form of loans, through 239 enterprises, to 1,365 rural families for the acquisition of durable goods for domestic production and for housing construction;

SUM 1,898.1 million were spent through 9,051 enterprises for full coverage of the cost of transport of 29,305 rural low-income family children to health camps for health-improvement purposes;

SUM 463.8 million were spent to offer 2,371 workers employed in 1,066 farming units free transport to health-improvement facilities.

603.As part of initiatives undertaken in early 2009 by the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan in view of the global economic and financial crisis in order to contribute to the implementation of the State programme of anti-crisis measures, 2009-2012, specific activities were planned in the areas of information and awareness-raising, employment support, legal and social protection of workers, labour protection, social dialogue promotion, support for domestic producers, and economic austerity.

604.The following work was carried out in connection with such activities:

In order to strengthen the social dialogue, a round table consisting of national trade union activists and representatives of the parliament, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Central Bank, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and relevant ministries and departments was held on 22 April 2009 to discuss a number of problems raised by union members;

Workshops attended by more than 3,000 persons were held for trade union activists in all of the country’s 14 regions to explain the programme of anti-crisis measures;

A process of remodelling collective agreements has been launched in the real economy in order to align the stipulated benefits and safeguards with the eventual results of entrepreneurial activity;

In profitable enterprises, additional steps were taken for the social protection of women, low-income or young families, families with many children, war and labour veterans, older persons living alone and persons engaged in home-based work;

With trade union funds, more than 1,000 new jobs were generated through the construction of health-improvement units, the creation of small businesses, and incentives for raising cattle in private subsidiary farming units.

Article 9Right to social security

605.From the first years of independent development, Uzbekistan paid considerable attention to building and improving the State’s social function, which is aimed at attenuating and overcoming such current negative phenomena as poverty, deepening of inequality and rising unemployment, at stabilizing the population’s standard of living and at ensuring a fairer distribution of economic burdens among the various population groups.

606.In view of price deregulation and mounting inflation, regularly rising minimum and average incomes have consistently constituted one of the social protection system’s priority targets, cutting in practice across all population sections and the reform process as a whole.

607. The second most important social protection target consists in the adoption of nationwide measures to support the domestic market for consumer goods and to maintain the consumption of basic food and non-food items at a specific level.

608.The third key target of an active social policy consists in carrying out effective social protection and support measures for low-income social groups.

609.The resources of labour associations and public and charitable associations and funds complement State resources in addressing social protection problems and raising the population’s standard of living.

610.The legal framework of the social function of the State includes the Labour Code, the Family Code, the Health Care Act, the Disabled Persons Social Protection Act, the Citizens’ Pensions Act, the Labour Protection Act and the Social Insurance Act.

611.SUM 390,114.6 million were allocated in the budget to the implementation of the State programme on the Year of Social Protection, adopted by a presidential decision of 23 January 2007, which laid down guidelines for action undertaken by the State and society in helping vulnerable social groups.

612.Measures for the social protection of vulnerable population groups are also taken as part of the Government’s strategy for improving the population’s well-being, 2007-2011.

613.As a result of such measures, the percentage of the low-income population declined, according to World Bank estimates, from 27 per cent in 2002 to 22.5 per cent in 2008.

614.The Presidential Decree of 19 March 2007 on measures for improving and consolidating the social protection system drew attention to the need for proper targeting of financial assistance to families, avoidance of dependency and monitoring to ensure appropriate use of the funds allocated.

615.The above decree helped inter alia to increase the volume of budget allocations to financial assistance for low-income families 1.5 times and lengthen the duration of such payments to 6 months; raise the wages of the teachers, personnel and attendants of the Muruvvat children’s homes and reduce the work load per teacher; raise by up to of 15 per cent the remuneration of the personnel of sanatoria for war and labour veterans; provide free board for disabled students; and reimburse social workers and teachers dealing with disabled children for transport expenses.

616.Taking into consideration the recommendations contained in paragraphs 49, 53 and 54 of the Committee’s final observations, Uzbekistan continues the practice of annual increases to the minimum wage, pensions, allowances and social benefits with a view to the steady improvement of incomes and the general standard of living and to the enhancement of social support.

617. Between 2006 and 2009 the minimum wage quadrupled, rising from SUM 12,420 to SUM 37,680. In 2009, budget allocations to children’s allowances and financial assistance to low-income families totalled SUM 861.2 billion.

618.The following forms of social welfare assistance are currently practiced in the country:

Cash benefit for illness;

Pregnancy and childbirth benefit;

Non-working mothers’ benefit for the care of children up to age 2;

Old age, disability and loss of breadwinner allowances;

Damages for work-related injury or occupational disease;

Unemployment benefit;

Allowance to families raising children and financial assistance to low-income families;

619. Targeted social support measures for low-income families are financed from the budget.

620.In 2009, SUM 436.2 billion were paid from the budget as allowances to families with children aged up to 2 and up to 18.

621.Of the 2,346,000 families that in 2009 received benefits from citizens’ self‑governance bodies:

846,500 families received benefits for young children;

202,100 families received financial assistance as low-income households;

581,500 families received non-working mothers’ benefit for the care of children up to age 2.

622.In 2009, unemployment benefits paid by the Unemployment Assistance Fund totalled SUM 2.4 billion.

623.In order to safeguard further the citizens’ right to social insurance, article 175 of the Administrative Liability Code provides for liability for unjustified delays on the part of bank managers and other officials in providing establishments and organizations financed under the budget with cash to pay wages, benefits, allowances and other related items.

624.Pursuant to the Presidential Decree of 30 December 2009 on measures for the further improvement of the pension system, pensions, social benefits, compensations and other payments are since 1 January 2010 fixed, funded, reported and monitored by the regional offices of the Extrabudgetary Pension Fund of the Ministry of Finance. The Central Supervisory and Auditing Unit of the Ministry is responsible for the conduct of all inspections as to the accuracy of pensions and benefits granted and for the related monitoring.

625.The State guarantees support for families bringing up children, including orphans, children deprived of parental care, and disabled and vulnerable children.

626.The following social support and social security measures have been developed for children, regardless of place of residence:

Wages, pensions and social benefits are consistently raised twice a year in order to improve the general standard of living and strengthen the social protection of children. Thus, between 1 August 2004 and 1 December 2009, in monthly amounts, the minimum wage increased from SUM 6,350 to SUM 37,680; the minimum old age pension from SUM 12,920 to SUM 74,660; the minimum children’s allowance from SUM 12,920 to 74,660; and the allowance for lacking the requisite number of pensionable years from SUM 7,825 to SUM 45,220.

Measures have been taken to promote home-based work, conducive to a broad involvement of the population, especially women, in gainful activities in the urban and rural areas, and contributing to higher employment and incomes. Since 2006, more than 190,000 home-based jobs have been created.

Under the State Pension Act, a system has been established for paying a breadwinner-loss allowance to children, including adopted children and stepchildren, regardless of whether they had been financially dependent on the breadwinner.

Disabled children receive allowances whose amount depends on the disability category as determined by commissions of occupational medicine experts (VTEK, for children aged 16-18).

Under the Disabled Persons Social Protection Act, disabled children, in the same manner as adults, receive free of charge technical support and appropriate equipment; medical professional- and social-rehabilitation services; household and transport services; and medication.

Under the Housing Code, disabled persons and their families enjoy preferential treatment in relation to the attribution, acquisition, construction and use of housing. On attaining majority, disabled children without parents may be provided, on a priority basis, with housing allowing them to lead an independent life.

Persons who actually take care of a child under 2 receive from the citizens’ self‑governance bodies a child care benefit (amounting, since 2003, to 200 per cent of the minimum wage).

The State provides unemployed single parents having many children aged up to 14 or disabled children with support in the form of job creation, special training programmes, free advice and help by labour bodies, and unemployment benefits under the Employment Act.

Children’s communities for children deprived of parental care and under full State care, family-type children’s homes, residential schools and medical establishments for children receive support and material and technical assistance under the State budget.

627.Currently, according to State Statistics Committee data:

113,000 disabled children aged up to 16 receive social benefits;

689 infants live in infants’ homes;

2,709 children live in orphanages;

217 children live in family-type children’s homes;

1,371 children live in residential establishments;

84,791 children live in general-type residential schools;

4,398 children live in residential schools for orphans and children without parental care or having lost the family breadwinner;

15,014 children live in residential schools for children with special needs.

628.Of the 15 enterprises furnishing health-improvement social services in the country, 18 provide children with assistance in the area of physical education and sport.

629.All State social programmes aim at providing social support to children in need. Such social assistance is targeted and its particular form depends on the specific characteristics of each of the various categories of socially vulnerable children who receive it.

630.In the period January-May 2009 alone, 961,400 low-income families with children received from citizens’ self-governance bodies benefits and material assistance totalling SUM 329.4 billion. Average monthly material assistance amounted to SUM 42,700 for a low-income family and SUM 34,600 for a family with children.

631.Under the Mekhribonlik homes regulation, the education and living costs of pupils and students are met by the State in full. The children are provided with nutrition, clothing, footwear and supplies; and are entitled to free access to cinemas, exhibits, museums and sport facilities, and to free use of public urban and suburban transports (except taxis), including the metro.

632.Under the law, orphans and children deprived of parental care who attend secondary special or professional education establishments are entitled to a cash allowance for personal expenses, and to food, clothing, footwear and personal hygiene supplies.

633.Issues related to the protection of the rights of the disabled are regulated by the Disabled Persons Social Protection Act of 11 July 2008, which provides for a system of State-guaranteed economic, social and legal measures allowing disabled persons to overcome or make up or compensate for vital activity limitations and helping them to participate in social life on an equal footing with other citizens.

634. Accordingly, in line with the Government decision of 18 March 2009 adopting the regulation on the individual rehabilitation programme for persons with disabilities, that programme was implemented in the same year for 108,779 disabled women, out of a total of 114,336.

635.Under the Cabinet of Ministers’ decision of 17 June 2009 adopting the regulation on the procedure for reimbursement for the cost of rehabilitation equipment or services, disabled persons may be reimbursed for the purchase of wheelchairs, hearing aids or crutches and for the cost of maintenance of appliances upon presentation of appropriate documents to the regional labour- and social-protection bodies.

636.A key role in the realization of the social rights of persons with disabilities is played by the Uzbek Association for the Disabled, established in 1991 and assisting disabled persons in addressing issues related to health care, employment and their right to leisure and cultural activities.

637. The Tashkent City branch of the Association received humanitarian assistance in the amount of Euros 50,000 and 8,000 from the embassies, in Uzbekistan, of, respectively, Germany in 2008 and Italy in 2010. As a result, targeted assistance was provided to more than 3,500 disabled persons who were particularly in need.

638. Under the Regulation for determining and paying allowances to persons disabled since childhood, which addresses relevant issues, such benefits are granted to disabled children aged up to 16 for a period defined by medical assessment and are paid out by the regional or municipal social welfare offices of the place of residence of the disabled beneficiary or of his or her parents. Allowances are paid to guardians and custodians at their place of residence. If a disabled child is placed in a residential school under full State guarantee or returns from such an institution, the payment of the allowance ceases or resumes as from the first day of the month following the month, in which the change occurred. Children’s disability allowances are paid regardless of whether the beneficiary receives other benefits.

639.Under article 180 of the Tax Code, the working mother or father of a disabled child is entitled to a partial tax exemption, namely on four times the minimum wage for every full month.

640.In accordance with the Voluntary Associations Act, the State encourages and supports charitable activities for socially vulnerable children. State organizations and for‑profit and non-profit non-State organizations undertake every year charitable initiatives which considerably improve the infrastructure and living conditions in establishments for orphans and disabled children.

641.The following set of NGOs provides social support to various categories of children in need:

Fund Forum;

Soglom Avlod Uchun Foundation, engaged in the implementation of medical and education programmes and in the dissemination of a healthy way of life;

Sen Yolg ’ iz Emassan Children’s Foundation, which supports orphans, children deprived of parental care, and disabled or low-income family children.

642. Fund Forum helps to support the 4,480 children living in orphanages by providing such establishments with necessary material, appliances, school supplies, various products, and clothing and toys for the children. In particular, as part of a charitable mission undertaken with “Women’s Assembly”, specialized institutions for children with special needs and orphanages in the provinces of Djizzak, Khorezm and Fergana and Karakalpakstan received in 2009 toys, sweets, appliances and linen for 1,480 children. “Women’s Assembly” and the National Association of Microfinance Organizations and Credit Unions opened special accounts for 112 families raising children with special needs.

643.In the area of education, Fund Forum carries out a series of grant programmes for boys and girls, including an annual study-grant programme, implemented since 2005, for school leavers admitted to higher education institutions on a contractual basis but unable to pay tuition. Of the 229 school leavers rewarded as winners since 2005, 170 were granted coverage of their tuition fees. More than 4,700 persons have participated in the programme since its inception.

644.The scholarship programme for gifted students, launched in May 2006, is aimed at providing incentives for third- and fourth-year students. On a competitive basis, the Fund pays active, gifted and motivated students a special allowance, in addition to normal benefits, for one academic year. Of the more than 4,300 students having participated in the programme since 2006, 400 were rewarded as winners and 45 saw their allowance renewed.

645.In the period 2006-2010, more than SUM 3,255 million were earmarked for various Fund Forum projects and activities designed to identify and comprehensively support gifted and talented young persons and to promote the realization of their economic, social and cultural rights. Such projects helped approximately three million beneficiaries throughout the country.

646.There has been extensive development of social partnerships for the social protection of children. Local-level State authorities (regional administrations) have set up juvenile affairs commissions, which consist of representatives of State bodies, NGOs and citizens’ self-governance bodies and which effectively and in a timely manner address the problems faced by vulnerable children. For instance, in Samarkand province alone, more than 10 NGOs deal with the problems of disabled children and develop charitable activities and social support for socially vulnerable children, including orphans and children deprived of parental care.

647.The international non-governmental foundation Soglom Avlod Uchun (“For a Healthy Generation”), a non-profit charitable institution, was organized on 23 April 1993 to protect the health of mothers and children and facilitate the children’s physical, intellectual and moral development.

648.The foundation and its departments largely focus on charitable activities for children raised in orphanages or special residential schools and children of fallen soldiers. Thus, free visits on Children’s Protection Day and national holidays to Tashkent Land and other parks in the country by children raised in orphanages have become a tradition. Moreover, the foundation and its members extend financial or humanitarian assistance to indigent persons.

649.In 2009, as part of a project with the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (K-FIH) and Samsung company, the Foundation assisted students in 13 of the country’s regions with US$ 16,596.36 during 12 months. Of 26 such beneficiaries, 13 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree. In the 2009-2010 academic year, 14 students continued their studies in the framework of that project, with SUM 10,675,000 earmarked to that end.

650.In 2008, the “AmeriCares” (USA) international humanitarian organization provided 548 wheelchairs, which were distributed through the medical and social welfare system to persons in need in various parts of the country. A similar project was scheduled for 2010. With the organization’s help, one year’s quantity of medication to lower the level of cholesterol and lipids was offered to 508 patients suffering from chronic heart-affecting ischemia, and 217 of those patients were provided with bioprosthetic cardiac valves.

651. The Makhalla charitable foundation helps low-income family students to meet contractual fees. In 2009, for instance, the foundation paid SUM 92.3 million for training contracts for 101 students with disabilities. In 2010, the foundation planned to provide such students with adequate computer equipment and assistance in using the Internet.

652.In 2009, the foundation and its regional branches provided 11,434 low-income families with free cattle of a value of SUM 6,637.6 million, and spent approximately SUM 400.5 million on health improvement for low-income family children. Clothing, footwear, food products and other necessary supplies of a value of SUM 513.3 million were provided to Mekhribonlik, Sakhovat and Muruvvat homes and to low-income families. In 2009, SUM 6,749 million were spent on charitable assistance to 569,415 low-income families.

Article 10Social protection of the family, mothers and children

653.The Constitution contains a separate chapter (arts. 63-66) on the family. According to those provisions, the family is the primary unit of society and shall have the right to societal and State protection.

654.According to the Constitution, marriage shall be based on the willing consent and equality of both parties. Marriage and family relations issues are regulated by the Family Code, whose main provisions aim to protect women’s rights in the family and prevent discrimination against women in family relations.

655.Under article 3 of the Family Code, all citizens shall have equal rights in family relations. Any direct or indirect restriction of rights, or the establishment of direct or indirect privileges at the time of entry into marriage or interference in family relations on the grounds of gender, race, ethnic origin, language, religion, social origin, views or individual or social status or other circumstances is prohibited.

656.The citizen’s rights within family relations may be restricted only on the basis of the law and only to the extent necessary for the protection of the moral integrity, honour, dignity, health, rights and lawful interests of other family members and citizens.

657.Under article 13 of the Family Code, marriage is concluded in civil registry offices. Refusal of such an office to register a marriage may be appealed against directly before a court or the supervising authority of the office.

658. Marriage may not be concluded between:

(a)Persons one or both of whom is already registered as married;

(b)Relatives in directly ascending and descending lines, between siblings, and between adopter and adoptee;

(c)Persons, at least one of whom has been declared by a court to be legally incompetent on the grounds of mental disorder or feeble-mindedness.

659.In order to prevent any negative effects related to the spouses’ health, persons intending to marry must undergo a medical examination, available free of charge. According to the regulation on medical care for persons entering into marriage, adopted by a Cabinet of Ministers decision of 17 April 2007, persons over 50 are examined only if they consent. The persons examined are informed of any diseases diagnosed and the possible consequences thereof.

660.According to the Family Code, a marriage shall be declared null and void in the following cases:

Infringement of the conditions and procedure for the conclusion of a marriage;

Conclusion of a fictitious marriage, namely where one or both of the spouses entered into marriage without the intention to form a family;

Concealment by either spouse from the other of any venereal disease or HIV‑infection, provided that the other spouse files a relevant petition with a court.

661.A marriage may be declared null and void solely through a judicial procedure.

662.The Criminal Code incriminates, in article 136, coercing a woman to enter or preventing her from entering marriage; and, in article 126, polygamy.

663.Thus, Uzbek law prohibits forced marriages and guarantees judicial protection of women’s rights in the case of coercion or polygamy.

664. Under article 15, the minimum age for marriage is 18 for men and 17 for women. If there are valid reasons or exceptional circumstances, the regional chief administrator of the district, city or town where the marriage is being registered may, at the request of the persons wishing to marry, reduce the age of marriage by up to one year.

665.In view of the definition of the child in the Rights of the Child Safeguards Act in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a person under 18 years of age, intensive discussion is currently taking place as to the possible establishment of 18 as the minimum age for marriage for both men and women. A change of attitude towards age of consent for women is occurring among the general public. Currently, one third of women marry at the age of 19 and 56 per cent marry between the ages of 20 and 24, which is appropriate from the point of view of fertility and preparedness for family life.

666. As part of a 2008 review of Uzbek legislation to assess compliance with international law standards in the area of gender equality, the Centre for Monitoring the Implementation of Legal and Regulatory Acts under the Ministry of Justice proposed amending the Family Code to set the minimum age for marriage for women at 18.

667.The Labour Code and other legal and regulatory instruments provide for additional guarantees for women and persons with family responsibilities. Thus, among other provisions, employers:

May not refuse to hire women workers or reduce their wages for reasons associated with pregnancy or children. Knowingly unlawful refusal to hire a woman or dismissal of a woman on the grounds of pregnancy or childcare entails criminal liability of hiring officials (article 148 of the Criminal Code).

May not subject pregnant women and women with children aged up to 3 to any trial period before hiring.

May not assign women to arduous tasks, underground work or lifting or carrying loads exceeding the maximum permissible limits.

Must grant women pregnancy and maternity leave consisting of 70 calendar days before and 56 calendar days after the birth (70 days if there are birth complications or two or more children are born), paying them throughout that period a social benefit equal to 100 per cent of their average earnings.

Must grant women who so request, after the end of pregnancy and maternity leaves, a childcare leave:

(a)Up to attainment by the child of age 2, paying during that period a benefit twice the national minimum wage;

(b)Thereafter, up to attainment by the child of age 3, without pay.

Must establish for female workers with a child under 2 pauses during the workday for feeding the child, such pauses being included in work time and paid at the average wage rate.

In establishments or organizations financed from the budget, must establish for female workers having children under 3 a reduced (35-hour) workweek without any decrease in wages.

In the case of pregnant women and based on a relevant medical certificate, must lower the production or performance requirements or transfer such workers, and also women with children under 2, to a job that is less arduous or involves less unfavourable production factors, at the same average wage.

May not require pregnant women and women with children under 14 to work in the night, overtime or on days of rest or holidays, or to travel on business, without their consent. Assignment of pregnant women and women with children under 3 to night work is permissible only on the basis of a medical certificate stating that such work is not hazardous for the mother’s or the child’s health.

At the request of a pregnant woman with a child under 14 (or 16 if the child is disabled), including children under her care, must allow her to work only part of the workday or workweek.

At the request of a pregnant woman or a woman having given birth, must grant her a leave before or after pregnancy or maternity leave or after childcare leave.

668.Under article 238 of the Labour Code, the guarantees and benefits to which mothers are entitled (inter alia