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On March 26 this year, the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman), the Authorized Person for the Rights of the Child and UNICEF, based on the experience of Uzbekistan, held an online conference "International cooperation between the countries of Central Asia and the Russian Federation on the repatriation of children and women in zones of armed conflict and their effective reintegration into society”.

The event was attended by the First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis - Akmal Saidov, Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman) - Feruza Eshmatova, Authorized Person for Children's Rights under the President of the Russian Federation. - Anna Kuznetsova, Deputy Authorized Person for Human Rights of the Republic of Tajikistan - Authorized Person for the Rights of the Child - Rajabmo Khabibulozoda, Authorized Person for the Rights of the Child of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Arudzhan Sain, Specialist of the Department for the Protection of the Rights of Children, Women and Families of the Secretariat of the Ombudsman in the Kyrgyz Republic - Bubusara Anarbek kyzy, Mr. Richard Komenda, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Mr. Afshan Khan, Regional Representative for Central Asia, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Representative in Uzbekistan, Ashita Mittal, Head of UNODC, Iris Bork Kristiansdottir, UN Women Regional Representative for Central Asia, representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, UNICEF leaders in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, UNICEF in Uzbekistan, representatives of the embassies of the Russian Federation and the United States, government agencies, ministries, agencies, NGOs, civil society institutions, regional representatives of the Ombudsman for the Rights of the Child and the media.

The purpose of the conference is to exchange experiences, achievements and problems in the repatriation and rehabilitation of children and women affected by the armed conflict in the Middle East, as well as to develop recommendations for the repatriation and reintegration of women and children.

It was noted that in 2019, the government of Uzbekistan was one of the first to repatriate its citizens, mainly women and children, who suffered from armed conflicts and hostilities in Iraq and Syria. Since this year, active efforts have been made to repatriate children affected by the armed conflict and hostilities in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. It is noteworthy that among the countries among the first to return home citizens were taken under their protection, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

To date, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation have repatriated their citizens as part of the humanitarian operation of Uzbekistan "Mehr" and Kazakhstan "Jusan" and "Rusafa".

               These people, who left for another country and went through a difficult period of life, received medical, psychological, material and spiritual assistance from our government. The necessary conditions have been created for their return to a peaceful life, adaptation in society, participation in educational and social programs, measures are being taken to provide housing and employment.

               Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Feruza Eshmatova,

  • - The risk of protecting children during migration and limiting their access to basic services is a serious problem. The interests of the child should always be at the center of migration policy and practice. Migration policies should ensure that children affected by migration have access to national systems, including protection, education, health care, justice and social security, and respect and support the right to family life and family reunification.

Deputy Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman), Authorized Person for Children's Rights Aliya Yunusova,

  • The principles set out in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child are the foundation of our work, which is based on providing special care for children in need of legal protection, including the protection and care of children left without parental care. Rights are recognized for all children without exception and without any discrimination on any grounds or other circumstances concerning the child himself or his family. In any case, the child should be the first to receive protection and assistance. Unfortunately, there are still areas of armed conflict and hostilities. As a result, children die and many children are left without parental care.

 UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afshan Khan

 UNICEF is pleased to facilitate the exchange of best practices in child repatriation and looks forward to continuing cooperation with all countries participating in this conference today as we work together to protect the rights of children affected by armed conflict.

The conference participants identified the issues of concern to everyone and discussed the possibilities of effective cooperation.

International experts assessed the experience of Uzbekistan as quite effective and considered it worthy to share with the countries of the region and the whole world.

Press service of the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman)