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Tajikistan: Joint Coalition NGO submission to the UN CESCR – Right to work, right to social security, right to adequate housing and shelter, right to health, right to education

Tajikistan: Joint Coalition NGO submission to the UN CESCR – Right to work, right to social security, right to adequate housing and shelter, right to health, right to education
Tajikistan: Joint Coalition NGO submission to the UN CESCR – Right to work, right to social security, right to adequate housing and shelter, right to health, right to education

This submission provides information on the observance of economic and social rights in Tajikistan since the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights last reviewed Tajikistan in 2015. It focuses on Articles 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the Covenant.

This submission was jointly prepared by the following NGOs: Notabene, International Partnership for Human Rights, Association of Parents of Disabled Children, Human Rights Center, Independent Center for Human Rights Protection, NGO World of Law.

The document provides the following recommendations to the authorities of Tajikistan:

THE RIGHT TO WORK

  • Take primary measures to reduce and further prevent wage arrears
  • Ratify ILO Convention 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment at Work
  • Ratify ILO Convention 158 on termination of employment relations
  • Introduce the concept of sexual harassment in the sphere of labor in the legislation of Tajikistan and criminalize all types of sexual harassment
  • Provide legally and practically effective legal remedies for direct and indirect discrimination in labor relations
  • Create incentives for employers for hiring people with disabilities, people with HIV, women, especially pregnant women and women raising their children alone, as well as people combining school and work
  • Development of an anti-crisis programme for job creation in the context of COVID-19
  • Creation of tax breaks for small and medium-sized businesses
  • To study the phenomenon of labour markets (mardikars), including those of women, and to offer alternatives for training and employment

THE RIGHT TO SOCIAL SECURITY

  • Improve legislation on free legal aid in accordance with international standards of the right to a fair trial.
  • It is necessary to develop a clear and transparent system of payment for the services of lawyers in all categories of cases related to the provision of legal protection in free cases.
  • Revise the law “On Legal Aid” so that legal aid, both primary (legal advice) and secondary (counsel at the investigation stage and in court), will be provided at the expense of the State to vulnerable groups, and that public associations can participate in State tenders for the provision of such services.

THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING AND SHELTER

  • Ensure that any eviction must be subject to a judicial decision and must be carried out with full respect for the physical integrity and dignity of the persons evicted. Under no circumstances should the authorities start demolishing or dismantling buildings that still contain residents.
  • The State has to fulfil its obligation to provide fair and adequate compensation, which includes all losses from evictions. Fair and adequate compensation for all damages should include the loss of personal, real and other property or things, including the right to or interest in such property, as well as the material and social losses of those evicted. Compensation should be provided for any damage in accordance with the established procedure and in proportion to the gravity of the violation and the circumstances of each case, including for death or injury; for physical or mental harm; for missed opportunities, particularly in the areas of employment, education and social benefits; for property damage and loss of profit, including loss of earning opportunities; for moral damage; for the costs of legal or expert assistance, medicines and medical care, as well as psychological and social services.
  • At the legislative and practical level, ensure that information on legal remedies, compensation in demolition notices is included. Such information should be provided in a timely manner.
  • Remove from the law the obligation of homeowners to pay the State fee in court proceedings for the demolition of houses on the basis of the implementation of the Master Plans, and the seizure of plots of land for public or State needs.
  • At the legislative level and in practice, provide alternative accommodation to those who have been evicted and do not have the means to purchase or rent other housing to prevent homelessness.
  • Include in a separate chapter the norms providing for the protection and guarantee of the housing rights of children and minors, women and persons with disabilities, including their rights in cases of forced eviction and resettlement.
  • Ensure transparency and timely access to master plans and other information regarding evictions. Consult and meet with affected persons to discuss alternatives, not after a decision has been taken and demolition has begun. Indicate the dates and priorities of the list of sites to be demolished. Oblige local authorities to place demolition decisions with reference to the Master Plan on their website. Require statistical agencies to publish data on house demolitions in connection with land seizures by the State.

THE RIGHT TO HEALTH

  • Launch a special programme to address issues related to decaying infrastructure and access to medical institutions, especially in rural areas.
  • Address systemic corruption in the medical sector by identifying its root causes, and setting up information campaign on patient’s rights.
  • Support dialogue on reforms in the health care system between political authorities and local stakeholders (e.g. medical staff, civil society, local population).

THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION

  • Address systemic corruption at all levels of education and develop appropriate measures.
  • Repeal the requirements of “The rules of trips to work or official trips or to study abroad of education and science workers of Tajikistan, in particular students, bachelors, masters, postgraduate students, doctoral students and employees of universities» were approved on 28 February 2018.

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