UNDP and Finland support strengthening the rule of law and human rights in Uzbekistan

February 23, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Today United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Justice converged to discuss the inception of the new project aimed at Strengthening Rule of Law and Human Rights Protection in Uzbekistan funded by the Government of Finland. H.E. Mr. Ilkka Raisanen, the Honorary Ambassador of Finland to Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan) and representative of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, who came to Uzbekistan with an official visit, joined the meeting to celebrate strengthened cooperation between the countries.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The Rule of Law project aims to ensure effective access to justice and adequate protection of human rights for all in Uzbekistan. The main expected result of the Project is strengthening the respect for the rule of law and human rights in Uzbekistan. UNDP will closely collaborate with the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Ombudsperson and civil society to: 

  • improve access to justice through expanding free legal aid services. This will include support in enhancing and aligning the new edition of the Law on Free Legal Aid with best foreign practices, and capacitating free legal aid providers; and 
  • ensure effective promotion and protection of human rights. This includes enhancing the capacity of the Ombudsperson’s Office, as well as of civil society organizations to effectively promote inclusive access to justice and human rights for all, leaving no one behind.
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Ms. Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan noted at the meeting,

"Despite these positive achievements, there are remaining challenges that need to be addressed to further strengthen and ensure a reliable human rights protection of citizens. This is particularly true in case of limited access to justice, lack of legal knowledge and qualified protection of the most marginalized groups of the population, including people with disabilities."

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

During the Meeting the stakeholders discussed priority tasks of the Project, namely: 

  • establishing the state-guaranteed Free Legal Aid system
  • enabling free legal aid providers to deliver responsive and accountable justice services
  • strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ombudsperson’s office in line with Paris principles and 
  • capacity development and empowerment of civil society organizations to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Uzbekistan. 

The Project will align project activities with the best interest of the most vulnerable groups: people with disabilities, women and young people to ensure nobody is left behind.