Human rights guarantees established in the Constitution embrace all legal remedies and ensure the realization and protection of human rights and freedoms in the various branches of the law of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Human rights are legally established by constitutional acts, legal codes, and a solid body of primary legislation.
Uzbekistan had acceded to more than 70 international conventions and documents on the protection of human rights and freedoms. Uzbekistan was the first among the CIS countries to start a dialogue on human rights issues with the European Union.
Over the years of independence, the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) has drafted and adopted more than 300 laws on human rights and fundamental freedoms. The procedure for the ratification of international human rights treaties is operated by the Parliament. Committees of both lower and upper chambers of Parliament regularly conduct oversight activities and hearings on the implementation of international conventions and human rights acts.
In 1995, the Oliy Majlis established the post of Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman), invested with the power to consider complaints of violations of human rights. The Ombudsman operates in accordance with the law. When a complaint is received, the Ombudsman conducts an independent investigation; on the basis of the findings, recommendations for correction of the situation are transmitted to the officials and State agencies in question. The Ombudsman monitors cases of human rights violations 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.
The National Centre for Human Rights was established by presidential decree in October 1996. This institution was created in order to coordinate the activities of all the governmental and nongovernmental organizations involved in the protection of human rights. It conducts research on the various aspects of the realization and protection of human rights at both the national and the international levels.
The fact that today we have achieved a lot in terms of democratization of Uzbekistan is also seen in the economic sphere, as well as in the realm of development of the judicial system, and our social and political systems. In particular, we have taken the following steps in the field of human rights:
The death penalty was completely abolished in 2008;
The concept of “Habeas corpus” has been implemented in the national law in 2008 (transfer the power to order remand in custody to the courts); and
The Constitutional Act “On strengthening the role of political parties in further democratization of society” and the Law “On guaranteeing the rights of the child” was enforced in 2008.
In the field of criminal and criminal-executive legislation:
The classification of crimes has been completely reviewed, and the composition of criminal acts falling under the category of “less serious and not bearing a public danger” has been significantly expanded. Thus, the number of persons who were imprisoned was significantly reduced as a result of the liberalization of the criminal justice system.
Conditions in prisons were improved;
The number of Articles providing the right for parole has increased; and
Legislation of reconciliation has been introduced as a form of justice.
The Government of Uzbekistan maintains a constructive dialogue with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which carries out humanitarian activities in favor of detained persons by way of conducting visits to prisons in Uzbekistan in accordance with standard ICRC working procedures. The ICRC was granted access to penal correctional facilities in Uzbekistan.
One should underline that Uzbekistan is the single state among the CIS countries to sign a bilateral agreement with ICRC on January 17, 2001, making a commitment to cooperate with this organization.
In his address to the Oliy Majlis in November 2010, President Karimov called for work on a National Human Rights and Freedoms action plan, envisioning measures on carrying out public monitoring over adherence of laws by law enforcement and controlling agencies, ensuring human rights and freedoms, and others.