December 14, 2017
AN EFFECTIVE SYSTEM FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
There is very little time left until the celebration of the quarter-century anniversary of the adoption of our country's Constitution. "The people of Uzbekistan, solemnly declaring their adherence to human rights ..." These are the first words that start the Basic Law and set the tone for the whole subsequent text, as well as for the vast number of laws and other normative legal acts that are based on this fundamental principle.
It should be noted that over the years of independence, Uzbekistan has formed the main directions of policy in the field of human rights protection, including adherence to universally recognized principles of democracy, international obligations, development of international cooperation.
The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan enshrines the principle of priority of universally recognized norms of international law. In our country there is understanding that without the participation of international organizations and becoming a member to the basic acts on human rights, it is impossible to build a democratic legal state. To date, the republic has acceded to more than 70 international documents in this field. This, in turn, contributed to the creation of an effective system for the protection of human rights.
In particular, there has been formed a model for the gradual implementation of international standards in national legislation and law enforcement practice. Parliament, in addition to the Constitution, adopted 16 codes and over 700 laws regulating human rights and fundamental freedoms. The second section of the Basic Law can be called the Uzbek Bill of Human Rights.
As part of the consistent implementation of civil rights, cardinal reforms are being implemented, aimed at radical improvement and increasing the effectiveness of the judicial and legal system. On their basis, democratization, liberalization and humanization of public relations in the sphere of realization of citizens' rights in the sphere of justice are ensured. Taking into account the recommendations of the UN Charter and Treaty Bodies, the independence and autonomy of the judicial system has been strengthened, the structure and principles of the judiciary have been revised, the specialization of courts is being enhanced through the introduction of administrative and economic courts, the rights of the bar are expanding, guarantees of the rights of suspects, detainees, arrested, convicted, victims of crime, witnesses are being strengthened.
At the same time, there has been formed a system for monitoring the observance of constitutional human rights and freedoms and the implementation of international norms and principles. An institutional framework for the protection of human rights has been created. Along with the traditional law enforcement system, which includes the court, the prosecutor's office, the bar, there also function national human rights institutions.
The issue of ensuring human rights and freedoms in Uzbekistan is under the scrutiny of not only the state, but also of civil society institutions that take an active part in improving legislation, conducting public monitoring of the rights of socially vulnerable layers of the population, and preparing periodic national and alternative reports on the implementation of international obligations. Human rights work, in particular, is carried out by activists of various NGOs that defend the interests of not only of their members, but also came to understand the importance of forming in the country a system of public monitoring and control over the activities of state bodies. Among them are children's, women's, environmental NGO's, organizations of disabled and elderly citizens, gender centers, as well as professional societies, foundations, associations, unions, committees that unite citizens according to their interests.
Recently, public control over the activities of the judiciary, law enforcement and controlling structures has been developing through the expansion of the mandates of the Ombudsman, the National Center for Human Rights, the establishment of the Business Ombudsman institution, the introduction of a system of reporting by the law enforcement agencies before the houses of parliament and the population. This became possible thanks to the institutionalization of the institution of public control over the activities of state bodies in the country's Constitution. Currently, the Parliament is working on the adoption of the Law "On Public Control in the Republic of Uzbekistan".
Our country as a full-fledged subject of international relations intends to continue to develop cooperation with the UN Charter and Treaty Bodies, to take an active part in improving international and national monitoring of the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and other UN member states. By now, a solid experience of interaction with this organization has already been accumulated. This is evidenced by the fact that this year only UN Secretary-General António Guterres (9-10 June), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, regional representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia Ryszard Komenda, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shahid payed a visit to Uzbekistan.
The visit of the delegation of the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch to Uzbekistan (August 29 - September 11, 2017) also had fruitful results. During the visit the issues of ensuring human rights and the role of human rights organizations in this process, as well as possible areas of cooperation were discussed.
(The material was prepared on the basis of information from the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan)