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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 (Morning)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is intended for use of the information media and is not an official record. The note provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review and does not cover all points addressed. An official summary of the meeting can be found in the Working Group report.)

State under review

Uzbekistan
Represented by five-member delegation headed by Mr. Akmal Saidov, Chairman of the National Human Rights Centre

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Uzbekistan page on the UPR website

Troika *

Angola, Indonesia, Germany

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on the Uzbekistan page on the UPR Extranet)

  • In August 2009 the National Action Plan on the implementation of recommendations posed during Uzbekistan’s first UPR of December 2008 was approved; accordingly, 89 measures for the implementation of the recommendations were outlined and in June 2011 an international seminar was held to examine the status of those implementation efforts;
  • An inter-departmental working group was also formed that established a list of the most important issues to be covered; while preparing the report of the working group  consultations were held with government officials and civil society representatives;
  • The second national report for Uzbekistan’s UPR highlighted progress achieved in the area of the promotion and protection of human rights, and also underlined the remaining challenges;
  • Particular attention has been was paid to the further improvement of national legislation and law enforcement practices, as well as efforts to protect the rights of the most vulnerable;
  • Uzbekistan has already achieved the MDG with regard to universal education and, according to the World Bank, has one of the highest literacy rate in the world which stood at 99%;
  • Uzbekistan has submitted 32 national reports to UN treaty bodies and has been working closely with UN Special Procedures, the head of delegation noted; 
  • As to democratic reforms and supporting civil society a series laws were adopted in 2012 to ensure the rule of law, protect rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of individuals, liberalize the criminal law and the criminal procedures and to strengthen the judiciary;
  • In order to strengthen the independence of the judiciary a number of Presidential Acts were approved aimed to further enhance the role of the judiciary in governance and of independent proceedings;
  • In December 2012, the Government adopted the Law “On operational investigation search activities” which established a legal basis for operational and investigation activities by law enforcement agencies;
  • Since 2012, Uzbekistan has been implementing the EU project “Support to Judicial Reforms in Uzbekistan”, through which study tours to European countries for the exchange of practical experience in the courts were organized for representatives of national courts and law enforcement bodies;
  • The head of delegation noted that Uzbekistan was consistently fulfilling ILO standards on prevention and elimination of child labour and has legally secured the reliable mechanisms for protecting children’s rights in the area of labour legislation;
  • The Minister also noted that, at present, there was a preliminary agreement with the OHCHR and Uzbekistan on the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Uzbek National Human Rights Centre NHRC and the OHCHR.

 

Participants

 

In total 83 States participated in the dialogue:  33 HRC members and 50 observers  (Statements available on Uzbekistan page on the UPR Extranet)

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • Efforts to provide social protection for the most vulnerable groups;
  • Achievement of economic growth in recent years; 
  • The high literacy rate in the country and high school enrolment rates;
  • Progress made in the upholding the right to health;
  • The ratification of the 2nd OP to the ICCPR and the abolishment of the death penalty;
  • The introduction of habeas corpus and the 2011 law on the treatment of detainees.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Measures to eliminate the use of torture;
  • Steps taken to allow independent monitoring of prisons including by the ICRC; 
  • Efforts to guarantee freedom of expression, association and assembly;
  • Action taken to combat child labour and to comply with ILO standards;
  • Measures to protect and promote the rights of women;
  • Steps envisaged to enhance cooperation with independent human rights monitoring bodies and Special Procedures.  

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Uzbekistan.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To take effective measures to eliminate the use of torture; To ensure that all cases of alleged torture were promptly investigated by an independent body; To include a definition of torture in the Criminal Code;
  • To allowing independent monitoring of prisons including by the ICRC;  to allow access to the Special Rapporteur on torture and to fully implement the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur in his report of 2003; 
  • To release all political prisoners; To address torture and prisoner welfare;
  • To take appropriate action to guarantee freedom of expression, association and assembly and prevent any harassment or intimidation against those exercising these rights; to take concrete measures toward genuine media freedom in conformity with the ICCPR;
  • To ensure that all trials, including those for persons charged with terrorism or in connection with membership of banned religious organizations, uphold international standards of fair trial; to eliminate unjustified restrictions on the right to religious freedom;
  • To ensure that civil society organizations and NGOs can work freely and unhindered; 
  • To continue the fight against child labour; ensure full compliance with child labour standards, including ILO Convention 182; to improve compliance with ILO standards, including related to forced labour;
  • To decriminalise consensual homosexual activity and prohibit discrimination and harassment of LGBT persons;
  • To take further measures to protect and promote the rights of women; To continue efforts to combat trafficking in women and children;
  • To extend a standing invitation to UN Special Procedures; To cooperate fully and effectively with independent human rights monitoring bodies and Special Procedures;
  • To establish an independent national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: The Convention on enforced disappearances; the OPCAT, the CRPD, the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its Optional Protocol of 1967, the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the Rome Statute of the ICC, the Convention on the rights of migrant workers, and the 3rd OP to the CRC. 

 

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Uzbekistan is scheduled to take place on Friday, 26 April 2013

  • The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.   

Media contact: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org

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