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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Vice-President of the Committee of the Rights of the Child visits Uzbekistan to advocate for the well- being of most vulnerable children.
Renate Winter, Vice-President of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, is visiting Uzbekistan from May 1 to 5, 2017. She participates in a number of meetings to engage with the representatives of Government of Uzbekistan and non-government organizations. Justice Renate Winter advocates for implementation of the key observations and recommendations made by the UN CRC to Uzbekistan.
“Visit of Renate Winter to Uzbekistan is very timely,” said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan. “In the light of ongoing reforms in Uzbekistan, we want to make sure that children’s issues are considered and the Government’s efforts reflect the recommendations of the CRC Committee,” he added.
During her meeting with Akmal Saidov, Director of the National Human Rights Center, Justice Renate Winter underlined challenges on using disaggregated and reliable data for decision making. ‘’It is an issue in many countries and having an action plan is just a beginning. Data should be reviewed for reliability first of all,” she said.
Justice Renate Winter advised to develop monitoring tools for better understanding the conditions and needs of young offenders in close institutions. She provided concrete recommendations to create a child friendly environment in those facilities. “It is very important to create child friendly environment, use positive approach in creation of their internal rules and train the staff of close institutions, especially to avoid violence,” she said.
Justice Renate Winter highlighted the importance of appointment of an Ombudsperson for Children, which is one of the recommendations of the CRC Committee. She expressed her readiness to offer support for this, as it is crucial need for the country. The support would be in developing the capacity and strengthening the system. It was agreed to establish a working group for drafting the law on appointing a special Ombudsperson for children.
The issue of appointment of Ombudsperson for Children was also raised at the meeting with the Authorized Person of Oliy Majlis on Human Rights (Ombudsperson) Ulugbek Mukhammadiev. Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan reaffirmed UNICEF’s commitment to provide support to the Ombudsman’s office. “UNICEF will contribute to strengthening the role of the Ombudsperson in monitoring specialised closed institutions for children. We need to understand the needs of young offenders, and build capacity of the office of the Ombudsperson in monitoring and assessment of children’s cases,” he said.
Speaking at a round table discussion on on Children’s Rights to Property, Justice Renate Winter highlighted that “The best interests of a child, as well as his/her participation in decision-making should be considered while deciding the child’s right to property. Child rights to property is a part of his/her right to development.”
Members of the Parliament, representatives of the National Human Rights Center, ministries, law enforcement bodies, regional authorities, and NGOs participated in the discussion to clarify the role of Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organizations in fulfilling the child’s rights to property with focus on children in institutions.
Justice Renate Winter was international judge and president of the Special Court of Sierra Leone and international judge in Kosovo. She was also President of the International Association of Youth and Family Court Judges and Magistrates. Justice Renate Winter has longstanding experience on European Union judicial reforms and justice institutions in numerous countries. In 2013, she became a member of the UN Child’s Rights Committee and currently she is the Vice-President of the UNCRC Committee.
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