Parliamentary experience of Uzbekistan in the field of human rights protection presented in Geneva

June 28 this year in Geneva, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the  Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)  organized a seminar on «Parliaments as guardians of human rights: the case for strong parliamentary human rights committees and the development of international principles to support their work».

It was attended by Members of Parliament of the Burkina Faso, the UK, Canada, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Togo, Uruguay, Croatia and Chile, representatives of OHCHR, the diplomatic corps in Geneva, intergovernmental organizations (Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations), as well as a number of NGOs (International Human Rights Service, Center for Civil and Political Rights, UPR-Info).

Uzbekistan in the event was represented by Mr. Akmal Saidov, Chairman of the Committee of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan (Parliament) on Democratic Institutions, NGOs and Citizens’ self-government bodies.

Representatives of the IPU and OHCHR in their welcoming speeches noted the important role of parliaments and their human rights committees in the promotion and protection of human rights. In their words, national parliaments should expand their contribution to the work of the UN Human Rights Council in the framework of the UPR consideration.

In this context, it presented a report on theme «Contribution of parliaments to the work of the Human Rights Council and its universal periodic review», prepared by OHCHR in cooperation with the IPU.

The authors noted that the paper focuses on the role of parliaments in the field of human rights, provides an analysis of the information received from Member States on this topic and studies on the promotion and strengthening of synergies between parliaments and the work of the HRC and the UPR carried out by it.

It presented a draft «Principles relating to parliaments and human rights», in which the Member States propose practical recommendations to further strengthen the role of parliaments in the promotion and protection of human rights.

In his speech, A.Saidov informed the participants of the seminar about the attention paid in Uzbekistan in accordance with the National Action Strategy on Five Priority Development Areas 2017-2021, on increasing the role of the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, exercising parliamentary control over the executive bodies, as well as improving the quality of lawmaking activities.

Innovations in the activity of the Parliament of the Republic of Uzbekistan under modern conditions are underlined. Consequently, among the participants of the seminar, a great interest was caused by the new practice of registering a wide public opinion in the legislative process and implementing the mechanism of public hearings through the Internet and social networks «Mening Fikrim».

The seminar participants also highly appreciated various methods of parliamentary control in Uzbekistan: parliamentary hearings, budget control, government hour and deputy’s inquiry.

As a sign of the strengthening role of the Uzbek parliament in the promotion and protection of human rights, the Legislative Chamber and the Senate have adopted the «Action Plan for the Implementation of the Recommendations of the High Commissioner for Human Rights» and the «Road Map» to implement the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief  after their visits to Uzbekistan in 2017, as well as a parliamentary report on the situation of human rights in the country.

Foreign delegates welcomed the creation of two parliamentary commissions to support NGOs, the mass media and other institutions of civil society, as well as to protect the constitutional labor rights of citizens, which pays great attention to the elimination of child and forced labor.
The Uzbek side also made a number of proposals and comments on the draft «Principles relating to parliaments and human rights», which will be reviewed and approved by the Human Rights Council session, which is held in Geneva from June 18 to July 6, 2018.