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First Ever Child Friendly Interview Room Opened in Uzbekistan: Minimizing the Trauma to Children During Judicial Investigation Process
The room provides a safe and non-intimidating environment for children considering their age, maturity and psychological state. It was established with support from UNICEF, based on good international practices.
“We cannot allow children to be confused or stressed when they participate in judicial proceedings,” said Akromkhon Bobokhonov, Deputy Interior Minister of Uzbekistan. “Therefore, we make efforts to ensure that the procedures on child-friendly justice are applied in daily practice by our investigators involved in the interrogation of child victims and witnesses of crime.”
To create a protective environment for children in the investigation process, especially to minimize the trauma, the child-friendly room is equipped with a modern video and sound system. This will help avoid the unnecessary repetition of interrogations and lead to stronger evidence in the criminal investigation process. The introduction of information and communication technologies ensures protection of the rights and legitimate interests of child victims and witnesses of crime.
“Trauma resulting from a crime can have serious consequences for children, with significant impacts on their growth and development,” said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan. “It is very important that in the pre-trial and trial stages, protection measures are provided for child victims and witnesses of crime. This facilitates their return to normal life as soon as possible.”
Mr. Graumann added that “In order to implement these measures, UNICEF is ready for further cooperation with all law enforcement agencies in Uzbekistan.”
UNICEF worked closely with the Ministry to ensure that special child protection measures are in compliance with standards of international justice for children. The opening of the special interrogation room for children at the Ministry is also in line with the Presidential Resolution #2898 on modern investigative methods dated 18 April 2017.
The Ministry of Interior and UNICEF will continue close collaboration to strengthen the legislative framework, enhance special measures of legal safeguards to child victims and witnesses of crime. Further plans include capacity building of the investigators of the Ministry of Interior, the development of methodological guidelines and materials and the establishment of child-friendly interrogation rooms at the regional departments of the Ministry of Interior.