Tashkent, 6 June 2022 – Today, the National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan (NHRC) jointly with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency conducted a roundtable on interim arrangements and referral mechanisms for persons in need of international protection in Uzbekistan.
The goal of the roundtable was to discuss solutions for forcibly displaced persons that will allow them to get access to rights guaranteed by international and national law and humanitarian considerations. The event brought together representatives of Ministries, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Security Service, other state agencies and international organisations.
The event was opened by Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Director of the National Center of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights, Roli Asthana, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, and Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
In his greeting Saidov noted that “refugees are often deprived of basic rights and face many obstacles. They cannot fully participate in public life. Restricting the rights of refugees can affect a person’s access to education, health care, formal employment, property rights, freedom of movement, and more.”
“I commend the people and Government of Uzbekistan for their generous support to Afghans, both humanitarian support across the border and to those who are in Uzbekistan unable to return home. This work embodies the Humanitarian-Peace-Development Nexus that is the core of the work of the UN. The UN stands ready to support the Government in all support efforts in line with international law,” said Roli Asthana, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan.
At the roundtable key aspects to be covered by interim arrangements in accordance with international and national law were presented. Participants considered and discussed relevant international and national standards and experiences, including in registration and documentation and access to basic rights and services.
“Nowadays international solidarity and cooperation to protect people forced to flee is needed more than ever. We trust that this roundtable will support the development of effective national legislation and practices in the fields of asylum and refugee protection. UNHCR remains committed to strongly supporting Uzbekistan joining other United Nations member states by acceding to and implementing the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, key universal treaties,” said Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
During the 30th Session of the Universal Period Review (UPR) in 2018 the Republic of Uzbekistan supported the recommendations to ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol and to develop an according national asylum system. NHRC and UNHCR have been working together since 2020 to support Uzbekistan’s capacity to implement UPR recommendations related to the reduction and prevention of statelessness and the protection of refugees.