«Uzbekistan: Progress in the field of Human Rights»

5 - 8 June 2018, the official visit of the delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Belgium led by the Minister of Foreign Trade Jamshid Khodzhaev took place for the participation in the 15th session of the Republic of Uzbekistan- European Union Cooperation Committee and 13th session of the Sub-Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment with the European Union.

In the framework of the visit of the delegation of Uzbekistan in Brussels on June 8, there was organized a  breakfast briefing with Doctor Akmal Saidov, director of National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Highlights of the briefing - discussion of progress on human rights in Uzbekistan.  

The Republic of Uzbekistan- European Union Cooperation Committee reviewed the significant progress that has been made towards the reorganisation of the cotton production system in Uzbekistan, notably the eradication of child and forced labour in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other partners. At the briefing were reviewed recent developments as regards human rights, where, in accordance with European experts, Uzbekistan has demonstrated a more constructive attitude towards civil society, media, and critical voices in general. 

The European side highly appreciated the visit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on the freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shahid, who visited Uzbekistan for the first time in 15 years. A special assessment was also given to Uzbekistan's cooperation with the international non-governmental organizations «Human Rights Watch» and «Amnesty International». 

The participants of the briefing also welcomed the adoption by the Parliament of Uzbekistan of the "Roadmap" for ensuring freedom of religion or belief developed as part of the implementation of the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur A. Shahid, on the results of his visit to Uzbekistan in October 2017.

According to the European experts, Uzbekistan has made long-awaited steps to improve the situation in the field of human rights.
In this context, participants of the briefing discussed the importance of continuing reforms by taking additional measures in a wide range of issues in order to further promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country.