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call for input | Special Procedures

Call for inputs - Upcoming country visit to the Tajikistan

Issued by

Special Procedures

Deadline

05 September 2023

Purpose: To prepare and inform the Special Rapporteur’s country visit to Tajikistan planned from 9 to 20 October 2023.

Background

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues is a thematic Special Procedures mandate of the Human Rights Council, specifically required to focus attention on minority issues globally.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues was established by the Commission on Human Rights in resolution 2005/79, as an independent expert. The mandate was subsequently renewed by the Human Rights Council. The Resolution 52/5 renews the mandate under the same terms.

Dr. Fernand de Varennes was appointed Special Rapporteur on Minorities Issues in August 2017 and by resolution 25/5, his mandate was extended for a period of three years more. Dr. de Varennes is Visiting Professor, Université catholique de Lyon (France), Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas (Lithuania) , and National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland) (see his full biography).

The mandate seeks to help States and other stakeholders to promote the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, to find solutions to overcome existing obstacles to the full and effective realization of the rights of persons belonging to minorities, and to promote the equal and full protection and promotion of the human rights of minorities;

The Special Rapporteur is part of a system of so-called UN Special Procedures, made up of independent experts who regularly undertake country visits around the world to report on human rights issues.

Objectives

Pursuant to the Human Rights Council Resolution 52/5 and at the invitation of the Government of Tajikistan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues will undertake a fact-finding visit to Tajikistan from 9 to 20 October 2023.

The programme of the visit will include meetings with Government officials, federal and state institutions, as well as CSOs, activists, academics and other individuals and civil society organisations working on human rights and minority issues. The Special Rapporteur will start and conclude his visit in Dushanbe. He also intends to travel to other locations. At the end of his mission, the Special Rapporteur will debrief the Government officials on his preliminary findings. The report on the visit to Tajikistan will be presented by the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2024.

Key questions and types of input/comments sought

In preparation of this visit, the Special Rapporteur would like to invite all interested individuals and organizations including persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, representatives of civil society organizations, experts and academics to provide information on the human rights situation of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in Tajikistan. This also includes members of the sign language community as persons belonging to a linguistic minority. More specifically, the Special Rapporteur would like to receive information on the following areas:

  1. General situation of persons belonging to minorities
    1. Discussion about the approach to minority issues in Tajikistan, and information about the ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity in the country.
    2. Discussion about specific laws and policies relevant to the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons belonging to minorities.
    3. Special focus on the existing Tajikistan´s anti-discrimination framework, particularly in reference to the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or language, and Government initiatives towards strengthening this framework.
    4. Discussion about the overall human rights legal and institutional framework and how it addresses issues pertaining to the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.
    5. Good practices, challenges and latest developments in this area.
  2. The guarantee of the right to effective political participation of minorities, particularly the right to vote and of political representation
    1. Discussion about the political representation of minorities, including minority women and children.
    2. Updated statistical information (if available) on minority representation in political institutions, as well as to their exercise of the right to vote.
    3. Barriers to the political representation of minorities and to the exercise of their right to vote, particularly in light of the right to equality without discrimination in international human rights law.
    4. Good practices (specific initiatives, institutions or practices), challenges and latest developments in this area.
  3. Education and the linguistic rights of minorities
    1. Legal, policy and institutional framework with regard to access to quality education by members belonging to minorities.
    2. Particular focus on the existing framework with regard to education in and teaching of minority languages.
    3. Statistical data on access to education by minorities, as well as on the use of minority language in education.
    4. Good practices, challenges and specific data pertaining to the use of minority languages in the public administration, public service and institutions, as well as in the provision of public services.
    5. For all the above areas, a particular attention will be placed also on the use of Sign Language for members of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
  4. Access to Justice and administration of Criminal Justice
    1. Specific measures undertaken to guarantee equal access to justice by persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.
    2. Updated information regarding minorities in the criminal justice and correctional system, including disaggregated data in incarceration rates and effects on minorities.
    3. Discussion about the legal, policy and institutional framework to tackle hate crimes, hate speech and incitement to hatred targeting minorities, including identification and prosecution of such cases.
    4. Good practices and challenges in relation to ensuring equal protection of the human rights of minorities in relation to access to justice and the administration of the criminal justice system.
  5. Hate speech and hate crimes
    1. Discussion on the legal and institutional framework to tackle hate crimes, hate speech targeting minorities, including in social media.
    2. More specifically, discussion on the legal and institutional framework which protects freedom of expression and prohibits advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, as required in international human rights law.
    3. Identification of regulatory approaches to hate crimes and hate speeches, including financial or other liability of social media platforms.
    4. Disaggregated data (on the grounds of ethnicity, religion and language) for reported hate crimes, as well as reported instances of hate speech, including on social media platforms.
  6. Other issues

    The Special Rapporteur will also be seeking information on other issues which may particularly impact on minorities in Tajikistan, such as any situation of statelessness in the country and how it is addressed by authorities, and the promotion and protection of the rights of religious minorities.

Reports, academic studies and other types of background materials can be attached as an annex to the submission.

Written submissions should be sent to [email protected], preferably before 5 September 2023, Tuesday, at 6pm (CEST), indicating in the subject line: Contribution for the country visit to Tajikistan.

Please limit your submissions to a maximum of 2,500 words.

How inputs will be used

All inputs will be treated confidentially by the Special Rapporteur and his team and for the sole purpose of preparing for the county visit. Please indicate however if you wish the name of your organisation be released publicly, as part of the Special Rapporteur’s report, identifying those who have provided written submissions. These inputs will then be listed in the Special Rapporteurs acknowledgements.

Media inquiries

Follow the Special Rapporteur: OHCHR website of the Special Rapporteur

The Special Rapporteur on Minorities issues thanks you for your inputs.

Next Steps

Input/comments may be sent by e-mail. They must be received by 5 September 2023, Tuesday, 6 p.m. (CEST).

Email address: [email protected]

Email subject line: Submission for Special Rapporteur’s visit to Tajikistan

Word limit: 2500 words

File formats: Word, PDF

Accepted languages: English and French