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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan and the Ombudsperson Foster Partnership for Realization of Child Rights
“The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recommends that deprivation of liberty of children who committed a criminal offence should be regarded as a measure of last resort. It is commendable that there is only one juvenile penitentiary facility with a low number of juvenile inmates compared to other countries, and few specialized closed educational type colleges and schools for children,” said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan.
He was in a meeting with Ulugbek Muhammadiev, the Authorized Person of Oliy Majlis on Human Rights (Ombudsperson). They agreed that a partnership between UNICEF and the Office of the Ombudsperson will contribute extensively in implementing CRC recommendations in the country with a focus on the most vulnerable groups, particularly children deprived of liberty.
Sascha Graumann expressed UNICEF’s commitment to support monitoring of the situation of children in juvenile detention facility. Uzbekistan, is implementing legal and judicial reforms in the country and also the Strategy on five key areas for development. UNICEF offered technical assistance to the Office of the Ombudsperson in several key initiatives that will improve the situation of children in detention facility.
While re-integration of these children in the society is important, UNICEF highlighted the significance of assigning a special Ombudsperson for children in Uzbekistan.
“It is a crucial need for the country and UNICEF is ready to provide the necessary support in this regard – particularly in building the capacity of staff in child friendly treatment and bringing the system in compliance with international standards on protection of the rights of children deprived of liberty,” said Sascha Graumann. He added that “this will also help realizing one of the recommendations of the CRC.”
“We are aware of the recommendation of the UN CRC Committee to Uzbekistan regarding the appointment of a special ombudsperson for children,” said Ulugbek Muhammadiev. He also agreed that “such action would further strengthen the expertise of the office of the Ombudsperson in dealing with complaints submitted on behalf of children and ensure that the procedures for dealing with these complaints are easily accessible”.