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Press Release: Round Table on International Standards on Justice for Children: improvement of the justice system needed to make it child-sensitive
International and national experts discuss issues on protection rights and legal interests of minors
TASHKENT, 4 May 2017 – Research Center under the Higher Judicial Council of Uzbekistan and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly organized a round table discussion on reforms for ‘justice for children’ in Uzbekistan.
Representatives of the different state agencies and non-government organizations attended the meeting. Justice Renate Winter, Vice President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, shared good practices of other countries in amending legislation in compliance with international standards on justice for children.
“Uzbekistan is undergoing fundamental reforms in the field of rule of law to ensure protection of rights and interests of citizens. Children’s rights are integral part of this reform process,” said Dilshod Aripov, Deputy Chairperson, High Judicial Council and the Director of the Research Center on the Study of the Judicial Problems under the Council. ”We will continue our efforts to improve juvenile justice system in accordance with Child Rights Committee’s recommendations, he added”
Justice Renate Winter provided insights into the recommendations of the CRC Committee to Uzbekistan on juvenile justice, including introduction of diversionary and alternative measures for children in conflict with the laws and the establishment of separate courts for children.
“It is crucial to put in place separate juvenile justice legislation and ensure the elements of child-friendly justice for children in conflict with the laws and children victims and witnesses,” she said.
Translating the legislative and policy frameworks on the rule of law into concrete actions, it is very important also to include aspects related to child rights and access to justice for children. Thus, justice professionals, such as judges, prosecutors, investigators, defense lawyers should obtain knowledge and skills on how to handle children’s cases. Specialization of courts in Uzbekistan may lead to the establishment of juvenile courts and specialized professionals to deal with children in contact with the law.
“Children may interact with the justice system for several reasons just like an adult. However, to prevent any harm to children due to negative experiences, the justice system should be adapted according to their needs, vulnerabilities, circumstances and age,” said Afshin Parsi, Deputy Representative, UNICEF in Uzbekistan. “We all know that experiences of children with the justice system at a young age impact their trust and belief in justice and the rule of law”, he added.
Recently published report on review of national legislation and judicial practices in light with international justice for children standards shows that Uzbekistan has made significant progress in development of laws and practices to promote access to justice for children, and is committed to further develop a fully specialised child justice system.
Rakhimkul Toshboev,Head of the Department, Research Center under the Higher Judicial Council, presented the proposed changes and additions to the national legislation concerning children in conflict with the laws and child victims and witnesses of crime. These amendments to national legislation provide more legal safeguards for children victims and witnesses of crime to protect them from secondary victimization while participating in the justice process.
The round table discussions were concluded by highlighting the significance of the proposed reform in strengthening justice for children in Uzbekistan.
For further information, please contact:
- Sherzod Yuldashev, Research Center under the High Judicial Council
Phone: +99871 239 02 93 e-mail: email@example.com
- Safinas Ahayeva, UNICEF
Phone: +99871 233 95 12 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org