NEWS AND EVENTS
September 3, 2008
The press release
on the Draft National Actions’ Plan on implementation of the ILO Conventions ¹138 The Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and ¹182 The Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour
On 10 July, 2008, in the city of Tashkent, the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan held a round table on adoption of the Draft National Actions’ Plan on realization of the ILO Conventions ¹138 The Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and ¹182 The Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour with participation of representatives of Oliy Majlis (Parliament), ministries and institutions of education and law enforcement of the Republic of Uzbekistan, nongovernmental organizations (Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Public Youth Movement Kamolot, Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan, Council of Trade Unions Federation), as well as the UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan Mr. M. Sharif, the UNICEF International Consultant to the Program of Protection of the Children’s Rights Mrs. S. Barkin-Kuzmin and the UNDP International Consultant Mrs. L.Riu.
During the round table, the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic Uzbekistan Mr. A.Haitov presented the the Draft National Actions’ Plan on realization of the ILO Conventions ¹138 and ¹182.
This National Actions’ Plan was drafted with a view of full and strict realization of provisions of ILO Conventions, ensuring measures on non-admission of any forms of forced child labour and envisages active work on:
-perfecting legislative and legal support to non-admission of child labour in its worst forms;
-strengthening control and monitoring over non-admission of the worst forms of the child labour carried out by the authorities and public institutions;
-carrying out broad information-explanatory work amongst the population and employers on child labour and non-admission of its worst forms;
-increasing potential of the authorities and public institutions in issues of realization of measures on non-admission of child labour;
-developing international cooperation in issues of realization of ILO Conventions.
Tentatively, the draft of this National programme had passed approbation and broad discussion at the level of state institutions and national public organizations, was given principal support by the authoritative international organizations such as the UNICEF, the UNDP and the ILO.
In his speech, the UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan Mr. M.Sharif noted, that this actions’ plan shows serious commitment of Uzbekistan in addressing issues related to non-admission of use of child labour and provides further protection of children who comprise more than 40 % of all population of Uzbekistan.
The UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan stated, that ratification of the above ILO Conventions represents important measures undertaken by Uzbekistan towards creation of the legal framework which provides full protection of the children’s rights.
UNICEF gave positive assessment of the Draft National Actions’ Plan and expressed its readiness to support Government in preparation of actions on raising awareness in the field of legitimate rights of children and the exchange of the information on consequences of the worst forms of child labour for healthy development of child. UNICEF also expressed its readiness to provide technical assistance and partnership in realization of the National Action’s Plan with the purpose of providing protection of the rights of all children, according to two joined ILO Conventions, principles of the Convention on Children’s Rights and the current legislation.
In discussion of the Draft National Actions’ Plan also took part the First Deputy Minister of Public Education Mr. R.Ahliddinov, the Deputy General Prosecutor Mr. N.Yuldashev, the Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. E.Kanjazov, and heads of public organizations such as the Deputy Chairman of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan Mrs. G.Marufova, the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Trade Unions Federation N.Allajarov, Chairman of Kamolot A.Alimov, the Head of Division of Association of Farmers Mr. Sh.Babaev and the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Democratic Institutes, Nongovernmental Organizations and Self-Government Institutions of Citizens of Legislative Chamber of the Republic Uzbekistan Mr. I.Tolibov.
During discussions, it was noted, that providing well-being of children is one of the main national objectives and therefore creation of healthy competitive society based on knowledge depends on its realization.
Thanks to consistent market reforms, realization of scope state social programs, such as Healthy Generation, Mother and the Child, Year of Family, Year of Health, Year of Social Protection, Year of Youth and others, the country created full framework for protection of the social and economic rights of children, provision of their harmonious development.
During the years of Independence, Uzbekistan created strong legislation system providing reliable protection of the rights of a child. The Law of the Republic Uzbekistan On Guarantees of the Rights of a Child, adopted in 2007, reflects in concentrated form the basic mechanisms of protection of children, sets the rights and duties of authorities, public institutions and citizens on providing firm rights of each child.
The fact that Uzbekistan ratified in March, 2008 ILO Conventions ¹138 The Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and ¹182 The Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour is the important step demonstrating commitment of the country to universal values of protection of the rights of a child.
Joining of Uzbekistan to the above ILO Conventions is the fact of legal recognition of these international norms of law, because de facto, long before joining these Conventions, Uzbekistan already realized in practice and provided for in legislation reliable mechanisms of child’s rights protection, including in sphere of labour.
First of all:
-one of the Constitutional norms of Uzbekistan is the direct prohibition of any compulsion to work and guarantees of the state on protection of the rights and interests of children;
-the Law On Guarantees of the Rights of a Child provides relevant definitions, in particular, it determines, that the child is the person under the age 18, that completely corresponds to the international norms, and also determines basic guarantees in sphere of labour;
-the labour legislation of the country determines the minimal age of employment from 16 years and only in strictly exceptional cases - from 14 years, and also determines working conditions and the privileges provided to the persons under 18;
-the law On Counteraction to Trade in Humans determines mechanisms of counteraction to any forms of operation of the person, including compulsion of children to work and engagement in illegal activity;
-the criminal legislation determines the increased responsibility for involving of children to illegal actions.
These are only basic norms, reflected in the Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan which are realized in Resolutions of the Government and multitude of legal acts of ministries and institutions. In particular, since 2001, there is an officially approved List of types of labour (employment), which does not allow admission of persons under 18.
Besides, there are state institutions developing for protection of the rights of a child in Uzbekistan:
-the structure of the Government has a Complex on Protection of Family, Motherhood and the Childhood, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic Uzbekistan, coordinating activity of authorities on realization of the rights of children guaranteed by the Constitution;
-under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan there is special Commission on Affairs of Minors, headed by the General Prosecutor of the Republic Uzbekistan, with competences of addressing all issues, concerning status of children in the society, including control over non-admission of the worst forms of child labour;
-in the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population, there are efficiently functioning State Legal Labour Inspections and Labour Safety Inspections, established in each district of our country and carrying out state control over non-admission of infringements of the rights of youth in the field of labour.
In the field of protection of the childrens’ rights, non-admission of involving of children to the worst forms of child labour, there are actively working institutes of civil society, the nongovernmental organizations, public funds and international organizations, such as Foundation Soglom avlod uchun (For Healthy Generation), the Center Oila (Family), the crisis centers and other nongovernmental organizations, covering in their activity practically all issues of realization of the rights of a child for happy physical, spiritual and intellectual development.
The-most powerful mechanism of counteraction to the child labour realized in the country, recognized by the international community, is the reform of education system, providing 12-year compulsory education of all children of the country. Expenditures of the country for education have unprecedented scales in a world practice: during last years, Uzbekistan is annually investing about 10 % of its GDP in sphere of education. Today Uzbekistan is one of few countries of the world, where average length of education came close to 12 years, and the age of end of compulsory education exceeds age of 18.
The economic reforms realized in Uzbekistan which provided steadily high economic growth, increase of employment rate of the population and family incomes, are the major prerequisite of reduction in scales of child labour in Uzbekistan. Thus, within last years, the national economy shows growth rates at level of more than 9 %, that provides creation of new jobs for the adult population which require high qualification, and creates economic conditions for reduction of scales of unqualified labour and eradication of child labour.
The broad system of social protection of the population, including the developed infrastructure of authorities of social protection of the population, system of material aid to families, system of trusteeship and guardianship, is also the major factor of counteraction to the worst forms of child labour. The country no longer has such social phenomenon as children\\\\\\\'s neglect, which in many countries is the main factor generating the worst forms of child labour.
Resuming the round table discussions, the participants drafted proposals and amendments to the Draft National Actions’ Plan and recommended to submit to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic Uzbekistan the Draft Resolution On measures on Realization of the ILO Conventions ratified by the Republic of Uzbekistan ¹138 The Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and ¹182 The Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour.