Experts of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Commend Tajikistan’s Labour Inspectorate, Ask About High Levels of Corruption and External Debt

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights today concluded its consideration of the fourth periodic report of Tajikistan, with Committee Experts commending the State for the number of cases examined by its labour inspectorate, and asking about the State’s high levels of corruption and external debt.

A Committee Expert said that the labour inspectorate had filed close to 12,000 cases, which was very impressive.  What did those cases address?  What role did trade unions play in monitoring businesses?

Heisoo Shin, Committee Expert and country rapporteur, said the Corruption Perception Index ranked Tajikistan at 153 out of 198 countries.  Tajikistan had the law “On Combatting Corruption,” an anti-corruption strategy and action plan, but still corruption was pervasive and widespread in all sectors of society.  What was lacking in the State’s measures?  What were the root causes of the corruption? According to a World Bank report, Tajikistan’s external debt had more than doubled over the past ten years to reach 67 per cent of gross domestic product in 2016, due mainly to foreign-funded infrastructure projects and increased corporate sector borrowing.  What measures were in place to address that?

Muzaffar Ashuriyon, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan, and head of the delegation, in opening remarks said Tajikistan had built a democratic society where the rights and freedoms of citizens were recognised as the highest values.  In accordance with the Constitution, the State guaranteed freedom of economic and entrepreneurial activity, equality and legal protection of all forms of ownership, the right to work, choice of profession, the right to housing, health, social protection and the right to education.  Everyone had the right to intellectual property and free participation in cultural life.

In response to questions, the delegation said that labour inspectors had inspected thousands of businesses in 2021, finding over 12,000 violations.  In 2021, the State oversight service had received 700 notifications regarding workplace injuries, including 45 death notifications.  Inspectors had ordered compensation to be paid to the families of the deceased.  Trade unions could issue mandatory instructions for investigation to the State oversight service. 

The delegation said that legislation targeting corruption had been developed, and the Government was continuing to develop new legislation to monitor the purchases of State agencies.  The Ministry of Finance had published information on State expenditures related to COVID-19 pandemic measures, to improve transparency.

On external debt, the delegation said that although there had been an increase in external debt over the past ten years, it had decreased since 2020.  A strategy for the management of State debt had been developed.  The strategy aimed to increase the effectiveness of management of foreign loans.  The State had over the past few years shown that it could pay off its debt fully and in a timely manner.

In concluding remarks, Ms. Shin said the Committee hoped to see the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Covenant in the near future.  New legislation against all forms of discrimination was also welcome.  However, high foreign debt, a lack of domestic employment opportunities, low salaries, salary arrears, low education levels, and high levels of corruption were causes for concern.  Ms. Shin called on the State party to develop effective measures to tackle those issues.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Ashuriyon said Tajikistan had achieved much in the promotion of human rights, not all of which could be covered in the dialogue.  The recommendations of the Committee would be carefully discussed with State bodies and representatives of civil society.  The State would continue to improve legislation and implement the provisions of international treaties.

The delegation of Tajikistan was comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Justice; the State Adviser to the President; the State Agency on Statistics; the Agency for Supervision in the Field of Education and Science; the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Education; the Office of the President; the Human Rights Ombudsman of Tajikistan and the Permanent Mission of Tajikistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage.  Webcasts of the meetings of the session can be found here, and meetings summaries can be found here.  

The Committee will next meet in public at 3 p.m., Thursday 6 October to begin its consideration of the fourth periodic report of Luxembourg (E/C.12/LUX/4).

Report

The Committee has before it the fourth periodic report of Tajikistan (E/C.12/TJK/4).

Presentation of Report

MUZAFFAR ASHURIYON, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan, and head of the delegation, said Tajikistan had built a democratic society where the rights and freedoms of citizens were recognised as the highest values.

In accordance with the Constitution, the State guaranteed freedom of economic and entrepreneurial activity, equality and legal protection of all forms of ownership, the right to work, choice of profession, the right to housing, health, social protection and the right to education.  Everyone had the right to intellectual property and free participation in cultural life.

The Government aimed to strengthen social and political stability, achieving economic well-being and social well-being.  Between 2016 and 2021, gross domestic product growth averaged seven per cent annually.  Cash incomes of the population had almost tripled, and the average nominal wage had almost doubled.  The country’s economic growth in 2021 came through growth in industrial production, agriculture, retail trade turnover, export volume, and cargo and passenger transportation.

In 2016, the country’s Parliament had approved the National Development Strategy for the period up to 2030.  The main goals of the Strategy were the eradication of poverty, the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns, and the protection and rational use of natural resources for economic and social development.

Over the past five years, the salaries of public sector employees had been increased by approximately three-fold.  The minimum and maximum amounts of old-age pensions, basic pensions, as well as labour pensions of citizens had also been increased by an average of 20 per cent. 

The Government had adopted a Programme for the Promotion of Employment of the Population for a two-year period.  118,000 persons had been employed under that programme since 2018, including 7,000 young persons.  45,000 young persons were enrolled in vocational training centres during that period, and 33,000 received unemployment benefits.  993 persons with disabilities had been employed in contract work.

Equality for men and women in the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights was guaranteed.  Tajikistan was one of the first Central Asian states to accede to the Convention on Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value.  State legislation ensured equal opportunities for men and women in the civil service, the socio-economic sphere, and in the exercise of the right to vote.  In July 2022, legislation was adopted that ensured equal rights and opportunities for all persons in the country and established a legal system for preventing and effectively protecting against all forms of discrimination.  Citizens had the right to voluntarily form a trade union organization without prior permission, as well as to join and leave trade unions.  Trade unions were independent in their activities.

The right to health and education were also guaranteed in the Constitution.  The State guaranteed free secondary education in public schools.  State funding for the education system had increased annually.  The total amount of investment in education had doubled between 2015 and 2021.  In 2020, the Government had adopted the National Strategy for the Development of Education for 2021-2030.  Also, a separate chapter on inclusive education had been introduced into the draft Code of Education.

Similarly, the amount of investment in the health sector had tripled and investment in social protection had almost doubled in the same period.  The State Programme “Accessible Environment” for 2021-2025 had been adopted, which developed social support for people with disabilities.  The measure showed the unswerving desire of the country to create conditions that ensured a decent life and free development for every person.

Questions by Committee Experts

HEISOO SHIN, Committee Expert and country rapporteur, said that Tajikistan had a good record for ratifying international conventions.  The Corruption Perception Index ranked Tajikistan at 153 out of 198 countries.  Tajikistan had the law “On Combatting Corruption,” an anti-corruption strategy and action plan, but still corruption was pervasive and widespread in all sectors of society.  What was lacking in the State’s measures?  What were the root causes of the corruption?  Was the interdepartmental commission to deal with complaints related to corruption independent and competent to deal with complaints?

How many applications to court had been registered since the introduction of the law “On Equality and Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination”?  Did the general public know about that law, and was the judiciary provided with training on it?  Were there forms of discrimination not covered by the law? 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons faced severe discrimination.  How would the law apply to that group?  Under the Criminal Code, HIV exposure or transmission was punished with up to eight years’ imprisonment.  Had the State made progress in decriminalising HIV/AIDS?  People with HIV/AIDS were prevented from studying in medical educational institutions, adopting children, and becoming guardians for children.  HIV testing was also required for persons wishing to marry.  Were there plans to review that legislation? 

The Committee commended Tajikistan for hosting the largest number of refugees and asylum seekers in Central Asia.  However, the Committee had previously recommended a repeal of Presidential resolutions which restricted refugees’ freedom of movement, access to housing, the labour market, healthcare, education, and other social services.  What measures had been taken in response?  Had any steps been taken to operationalise the Temporary Accommodation Centre for asylum seekers?

The adoption of the Amnesty Law to regularise the stay of stateless persons and foreign nationals illegally residing in Tajikistan was commendable, as were steps taken to exclude deportation for refugees and asylum seekers as sanctions.  Were measures contemplated to ensure that all children born on the territory of Tajikistan had access to registration and birth certificates?  Did the State plan to ratify the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness?

The Law on Non-Profit Organizations introduced in 2019 required non-governmental organizations to report on their financial sources.  Why had that law been imposed?  Two non-governmental organizations had recently expressed serious concern about the “non-transparent and politically motivated nature of trials of seven human rights lawyers and journalists” and called on the Tajikistan authorities to drop the charges.  What was the State’s response to that statement?

Welcoming that poverty had been reduced over the past 10 years, Ms. Shin said that according to a World Bank report, Tajikistan’s external debt had more than doubled over the past ten years to reach 67 per cent of gross domestic product in 2016, due mainly to foreign-funded infrastructure projects and increased corporate sector borrowing.  What measures were in place to address that?

Migrant transfers, also known as remittances, in 2013 totalled more than 3.4 billion United States dollars, equivalent to 40 per cent of gross domestic product, making Tajikistan one of the world’s most remittance-dependent countries.  How was the Government planning to tackle that difficult economic situation?

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said that there were no restrictions on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the labour market. 

Legislation targeting corruption had been developed, and the Government was continuing to develop new legislation to monitor the purchases of State agencies.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the State had achieved stable economic growth.  Cash earnings and gross domestic product per capita had increased.  The share of industry’s contribution to gross domestic product had increased during the COVID-19 pandemic through increased mineral exploitation.  995 new mining companies had been founded over the last five years, and industrial production had doubled.  The State had become entirely self-sufficient by increasing production of meat, poultry, fruit and eggs.  Exports of paper, cotton and electricity had also increased.

There had been an increase in external debt over the past ten years.  However, external debt had decreased since 2020.  A strategy for the management of State debt had been developed.  The strategy aimed to increase the effectiveness of management of foreign loans.  The State had over the past few years shown that it could pay off its debt fully and in a timely manner.

The State abided by all international laws regarding its treatment of persons with HIV.  Such persons were provided with health support, and the Government had received no complaints from persons with HIV regarding access to employment.

Amendments had been made to legislation on non-governmental organizations requiring them to declare their funding sources.  Those amendments were made to increase the transparency of such organizations’ operations.  The Government regularly held consultations with civil society organizations to improve implementation of the recommendations of treaty bodies and correct issues raised by those organizations.

The Committee on Women and Family Affairs had developed a national strategy on promoting women’s participation in the labour market.  Gender-sensitive norms on land use had also been developed.  The number of microfinance loans issued to women entrepreneurs had increased since 2016.  There had also been an increase in the share of women conducting agricultural activities.

Follow-Up Questions by Committee Experts

HEISOO SHIN, Committee Expert and country rapporteur, called for more information on public expenses and remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product. 

A Committee Expert congratulated the delegation on providing important information on the implementation of the provisions of the Covenant.  The Expert welcomed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State had managed to sustain economic development, which was important for upholding citizens’ economic, social and cultural rights.  Why had external debt been almost doubled over the last decade?  Did the State conduct analyses of external debt, and of measures taken to promote Covenant rights?  States were obligated to provide 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product to official development assistance.  What assistance had the State received, and how effective had that assistance been?

What were some of the essential elements of the draft law on non-profit organizations?  Over 500 organizations had recently been closed.  What were the main reasons for those closures?

MOHAMED EZZELDIN ABDEL-MONEIM, Committee Chair, said achievements in reducing external debt had been quite impressive.  External debt was unavoidable in most developing countries.  The issue was not external debt itself, but the purposes for which those funds were used.

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said foreign debt was being monitored by the Ministry of Finance, and a strategy for managing State debt had been developed.  Over 50 per cent of external funds were used on social development programmes, around 10 per cent on the health sector, eight per cent on education and five per cent on housing.  The Government aimed to continue to increase the output of mining and agriculture sectors to reduce reliance on external financing.

The Government cooperated closely with non-governmental organizations.  It called for proposals from non-governmental organizations regarding the recommendations of treaty bodies, and based on those proposals the Government developed strategies for implementation.  The Government was currently considering amendments to the law on non-governmental organizations.  Those amendments aimed to simplify the registration process for those organizations.

Questions by Committee Experts

A Committee Expert asked for information on the unemployment rate.  How had the COVID-19 pandemic affected the unemployment rate? 

Ex-prisoners reportedly faced barriers to accessing the labour market.  What resources were provided to encourage the employment of ex-prisoners?  How were rules on the employment of ex-prisoners enforced?

The shadow economy was reportedly flourishing, especially in the handicraft market.  Workers in the informal sector were, reportedly, often paid very little, and women working in the sector were often subjected to sexual harassment.  How did the Government plan to tackle that problem?

Late payments were a serious problem in the State, particularly in the mining and construction sectors.  By the end of 2021, the average monthly salary in Tajikistan was 160 United States dollars.  Poverty was a serious problem.  What measures were in place to prevent arrears?   A work plan to eliminate outstanding payments of wages had been developed.  What progress had been made in implementing that plan?

A moratorium on inspections of workplaces had been adopted in 2021 to “facilitate economic development.”  That could have a negative impact on the rights of workers.  Inspections should be conducted regularly and without prior notice.  What did that moratorium entail?  How did it affect businesses?  What results had the moratorium achieved?

The State party had announced increases to the minimum wage.  Did that also apply to workers in the informal sector?  How did the State protect the income of those workers?

Persons with disabilities, minors and pregnant women faced barriers to accessing employment.  What measures were in place to promote the employment of those groups?

Only one-fifth of the unemployed received unemployment benefits.  Why was that?  A strategy for developing social protection had been drafted in 2022.  When did the Government plan to implement that strategy?

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said Tajikistan had one of the youngest populations in the region and a high birth rate.  The Government had developed a strategy to decrease the share of workers in the informal sector, where 29.6 per cent of workers were employed.  Over the last five years, 600,000 formal jobs had been created, a large percentage of which were permanent jobs.  The number of persons receiving unemployment benefits had increased by 31 per cent since 2015, and the amount of employment benefits had been increased seven-fold. 

Labour inspectors had inspected thousands of businesses in 2021, finding over 12,000 violations.  The moratorium on inspections did not affect checks of workplaces.

The Government was working to improve food security.  It had expanded the school meal programme to cover 35 per cent of secondary schools.

A working group had been created to develop a law on probation and social aid for former prisoners.  Persons who had been released from prison had the right to access public housing and work.  They were provided with clothing as required and financial assistance.  Former prisoners attended vocational training and through that received certificates which allowed them to find work.

The labour code included provisions to protect employees.  Any citizen over 15 years of age had the right to work.  Minors needed to provide certificates of health to employers each year.  Minors could not be hired to work in difficult circumstances, or employed for long hours while enrolled in an education facility.  One million workers in the State were members of trade unions.   

Questions by Committee Experts

A Committee Expert said that the labour inspectorate had filed close to 12,000 cases, which was very impressive.  What did those cases address?  What role did trade unions play in monitoring businesses?  Could independent trade unions be established freely? 

Another Committee Expert welcomed that new Family and Child Support Centres had introduced family and community-based support services for children in vulnerable situations.  Did the State party plan to set up more community- and family-based support services to prevent children from being placed in residential child-care institutions?  The Expert called for information on new programmes implemented to eliminate the worst forms of child labour. 

The strategy for the sustainable development of school feeding in the State party until 2027 was a laudable programme.  How many schools were covered by that programme?  What percentage of costs were borne by the Government?  How did the State party intend to support school feeding programmes in remote areas?

A new housing code had been adopted in 2022 to regulate the right to housing.  However, there were reports that forced evictions were still ongoing.  How many persons had been evicted in 2022, and what alternative housing and compensation was provided to evictees?

The Expert called for information on the State’s water and sanitation policies.  What measures had been taken to combat the shortage of medical professionals, improve medical infrastructure and access to health services?  How had the COVID-19 pandemic affected access to health services?  Were health care costs covered by health insurance?  What had been the impact of public-private partnerships on the affordability of medical services?   

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said good working conditions for employees was ensured by public inspectors, and laws regulated how the inspectors operated.  The law on trade unions had been amended to allow unions to detect and report violations of workers’ rights.  Trade unions could issue mandatory instructions for investigation to the State oversight service.  Based on the findings of their inspections, State inspectors issued directives that employers were required to comply with.  600 inspections had been carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In 2021, the State oversight service had received 700 notifications regarding workplace injuries, including 45 death notifications.  Inspectors had ordered compensation to be paid to the families of the deceased.  The State oversight body was also tasked with providing mediating services for disputes between workers and employers.

Every citizen had the right to housing, and the law prohibited any action that unjustly limited citizens’ right to housing.  Public housing was provided to citizens in need, considering their state of health, place of work and other needs.  The size of State housing units had been increased by 2 square metres over the reporting period.  31.6 per cent of housing in Tajikistan was funded by the State.  30,000 public apartments had been privatised in 2022, with around half of those issued to citizens for free.  The amended housing code of 2022 guaranteed the right to housing and regulated the provision of housing stock.

Women and children who had returned from conflict were provided with housing and all possible medical and psychological support.  All children who had returned from conflict zones had been provided with birth certificates and included in the education system.  The State supported those women and children’s reintegration into society.

The school feeding programme aimed to ensure food security for children, and to enhance children’s participation in the school system.  The programme had increased the coverage of school canteens from 21 per cent to 45 per cent of secondary schools.  50 schools were currently involved in the programme, and expansion work was continuing.

Medical infrastructure had been renovated to improve sanitation, and guidelines on improving sanitation measures had been adopted.  More than 65 per cent of medical facilities had been improved through Government support over the reporting period.  Through improvement in outpatient services, persons who contracted COVID-19 could be treated at home.  95 per cent of adults had received at least an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  In 2020, 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product had been invested in measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tajikistan comprehensively protected the rights of children.  It had ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Labour Organization convention on the worst forms of child labour.  A national programme to eradicate the worst forms of child labour had been implemented, and a council that developed policy recommendations on eradicating child labour had been established.  A monitoring system against child labour was also in place.  The State party had identified 900 children employed in the worst forms of child labour, and provided support to those children to remove them from that work.

Questions by Committee Experts

A Committee Expert said that harm-reduction policies had been adopted regarding illicit drugs.  There had been a reduction of HIV infections among persons who injected drugs, which was good.  However, those policies had been supported by international financing, and the Government was now moving to finance policies locally.  How would the State party ensure the sustainability of those projects?

Another Committee Expert asked for more information on strategies for the introduction of the school feeding system in all areas of the country.

HEISOO SHIN, Committee Expert and country rapporteur, asked whether the State had prohibited corporal punishment. 

What measures were in place to eliminate patriarchal stereotypes, and to combat de factopolygamy, which was still common in the State?

One Committee Expert said that Tajikistan was extremely exposed to the effects of climate change.  What measures to tackle climate change and adaptation policies were being implemented?

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said that a coordination committee was in place to monitor illegal drug trafficking.  There would be no lapses in the provision of legal drugs provided to patients in the State’s care.  Monthly meetings were held by oversight bodies to ensure an adequate supply of legal drugs to medical institutions.

Over 500,000 students were provided with school meals under the school feeding programme, including students in rural areas.  The Government would continue to strengthen efforts to expand the programme.  Tajikistan also provided students and parents with information on nutrition.  53.4 per cent of secondary schools provided school meals.  Almost one third of schools had been provided with kitchen equipment to modernise canteens.  Textbooks and education websites on nutrition had been developed, and training had been provided on nutrition to chefs working in canteens. 

A new addition to the criminal code was currently being developed, and the State was considering including provisions prohibiting domestic violence.  Polygamy was prohibited under law.

Tajikistan cooperated with the Green Climate Fund, which had approved five projects for ensuring food security, increasing the sustainability of the energy sector and developing a national plan against climate change.  A project enhancing small farmers’ resilience in the face of climate change was also in place.  With the support of other States and partners, Tajikistan was making progress on implementing climate change policies. 

The State was also making progress on developing policies for protecting water resources.  A high-level conference was planned for 2023 to discuss water issues.  Various hydrotechnical installations had been implemented to improve water quality, and the Government had replaced around 160 kilometres of water pipelines.  Access to drinking water, flushing toilets and electricity had increased across the State in recent years. 

Questions from Committee Experts

A Committee Expert said that he appreciated efforts made by Tajikistan to allocate budget to education.  Around 16 per cent of gross domestic product was invested in education.  The education sector had also benefited from economic growth.  However, basic conditions in schools remained inadequate.  Many primary and secondary schools lacked appropriate equipment, and in some cases lacked access to drinking water.  What measures were in place to improve facilities and resources available in schools?  What was the dropout rate in primary and secondary education?  A high percentage of young people were not in employment, education or training, particularly young girls.  What measures were in place to address that issue? 

The State planned to build 100 new preschools in the next five years.  Did public preschools appropriately cover rural areas?  What measures had been taken to address the disparity between urban and rural areas in preschool education?

Among children with disabilities, one in three was segregated in special institutions.  Attending regular schools could help those children to integrate into society.  Were there plans to integrate more children with disabilities into regular schools?

Tajikistan had been left behind in terms of technological development.  Only one third of families had internet access.  Did the State party plan to promote digitisation, as a strategic priority in future, with particular attention to its use in education and culture?

Responses by Committee Experts

The delegation said the Government guaranteed the right of every citizen to education.  Over 98 per cent of students received primary and secondary education free of charge.  Vocational and higher education was also provided free of charge.  A national testing centre had been created to evaluate the knowledge of primary and secondary students.  A quota for young women and men from rural areas had been established in State schools.  Over 100 scholarships were provided each year for students to study at foreign universities.  The Ministry of Education and Science had established an institution to provide support to young people who could not complete their primary education.  Teachers were provided with psychological support, subsidies for health care, and bonuses for working in rural areas and for supporting special education.  152,000 children, around 16 per cent of all children, were enrolled in preschools. 

In recent years, progress had been made in implementing inclusive education.  11 specialised institutions currently provided education for children with disabilities inclusively with other children.  Those institutions had specialised teachers and medical support facilities.  Legislation had been adopted to ensure the right to inclusive education for all children.  School facilities and education materials were required by law to be accessible.  Indicators had been established to monitor the implementation of inclusive education.

Each school received financing based on the number of students enrolled.  Schools in mountainous areas and schools with low numbers of students received additional funds.  Funding was also provided for improving the accessibility of school infrastructure.  Tax breaks were provided to private entities establishing private preschools.  Preschools also received per-capita financing.

52 per cent of students in public schools were girls.  Parents were held criminally liable if they did not allow their children to receive their compulsory nine-year education.

Tajikistan had adopted several programmes to provide education on computer technologies.  The ratio of computers to students in schools had increased.  Schools were required to provide internet connections.  A project to support the digital transformation in Tajikistan had been developed, under which laws and regulations had been reviewed and information technology infrastructure expanded.  The number of people who had access to the internet had more than doubled during the reporting period. 

Follow-Up Questions from Committee Experts

HEISOO SHIN, Committee Expert and country rapporteur, said that there reports of clashes on the border with Kyrgyzstan that had led to the destruction of schools.  Ms. Shin called for more information on measures taken in response to those incidents.

Another Committee Expert asked if special efforts had been made to integrate children coming from areas of conflict into the education system.  The Expert welcomed that 52 per cent of students were girls.  What punitive actions were taken against parents who did not enrol children in schools, and what incentives were provided to parents to enrol students in schools?

Had the State party made efforts to assist artisans who had lost their livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A Committee Expert asked what measures were in place to ensure that schools were not used as military training grounds?  There was seemingly a lack of support for teachers who taught in a language other than Tajik.  The Expert called for information on measures to support such teachers and create education materials in minority languages.

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said that restoration and reconstruction of homes and schools in border regions was underway, and students were back in schools.  Psychological assistance was provided to children returning from conflict zones, to support their re-integration in the education system.

Reading materials were produced in minority languages, and the State would develop new materials in minority languages to address shortcomings.

A Presidential decree had provided tax breaks for the private sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Over 300 million United States dollars were issued in loans and grants to support the private sector in 2020.  The Ministry of Finance had published information on State expenditures related to COVID-19 pandemic measures, to improve transparency.

Closing Statements

HEISOO SHIN, Committee Expert and country rapporteur, said that the dialogue had been very constructive.  It was good news that Tajikistan was ready to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The Committee hoped to see the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Covenant in the near future.  New legislation against all forms of discrimination was also welcome.  Ms. Shin was also pleased that the Government would work with civil society to formulate a plan for implementation of the recommendations of the Committee.  She called on the State party to provide the Committee with information on implementation.

High foreign debt, a lack of domestic employment opportunities, low salaries, salary arrears, low education levels, and high levels of corruption were causes for concern.  Ms. Shin called on the State party to develop effective measures to tackle those issues.  The State party’s national Commissioner for Human Rights could function appropriately only when conforming to the Paris Principles.  The Committee called on the State party to ensure that the Commissioner had “A” status before the next dialogue.  The Committee also called for increased protections for journalists and human rights defenders.

MUZAFFAR ASHURIYON, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan, and head of the delegation, thanked the Committee for the constructive dialogue.  Tajikistan had achieved much in the promotion of human rights, not all of which could be covered in the dialogue.  The National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights was one example of progress made in promoting human rights.  The recommendations of the Committee would be carefully discussed with State bodies and representatives of civil society.  More than 20 action plans had been developed for each set of recommendations issued by United Nations treaty bodies.  The State would continue to improve legislation and implement the provisions of international treaties.

 

Link: https://www.ungeneva.org/en/news-media/meeting-summary/2022/10/experts-committee-economic-social-and-cultural-rights-commend

 

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