Rights of the Child - category of human rights in relation to children, the rights and freedoms that every child should have, regardless of race, gender, language, religion, place of birth, national or social origin, property, social status. In international law, everyone under the age of 18 is recognized as a child.
At the international and national level, there are many special acts on the rights of the child. The fundamental act on the rights of the child at the international level is the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention was adopted in New York on November 20, 1989. It includes 54 articles that detail the individual rights of children.
All rights included in the Convention apply to all children.
For the first time, the child is considered in the Convention as a person who has rights that states that have ratified the Convention are required to “respect and guarantee”. This provision indicates that the child is a particularly vulnerable member of society and therefore requires and deserves special protection.
By convention, the child is regarded as an independent person. The Convention characterizes the child as a person endowed with specific rights: the right to life (art. 6), to have a family (art. 9), in the name and citizenship (art. 7), to education (art. 28), to be protected from violence (Article 19), on equality, on freedom of thought and speech (Article 13), on rest and leisure (Article 31), on medical care and health care (Article 24), on state assistance (Article 18-27) and others.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the establishment of a mechanism for monitoring the implementation by States parties of the provisions of the Convention. In accordance with Art. 43 of the Convention, a Committee on the Rights of the Child is established to review the progress made by States parties in fulfilling the obligations assumed under the Convention.
The Committee consists of 18 experts, the members of the Committee are elected by the participating States from among their citizens and act in their personal capacity, with attention being paid to equitable geographical distribution. Each expert must have high moral standards and be competent in the field covered by this Convention. Members of the Committee are elected by secret ballot from the list of persons nominated by the participating States. Each state may nominate one person from among its citizens. Committee members are elected for a four-year term. They have the right to be re-elected if their candidatures are re-nominated.
The Committee, once every two years, through the Economic and Social Council, reports to the UN General Assembly on its activities.
The Republic of Uzbekistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on December 9, 1992.
Since the ratification of the Convention by Uzbekistan, legislators have made significant efforts to bring legislation into line with the Convention.
The rights of the child in Uzbekistan are regulated by such legislative documents as:
Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On guarantees of the rights of the child”;
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Prevention of Crimes”;
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “About Guardianship and custody”;
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On state youth policy”;
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Education”;
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the social protection of persons with disabilities in the Republic of Uzbekistan”.
Currently, the country is carrying out extensive work to support motherhood and childhood, to create conditions for the spiritual and physical development of children, and to ensure compliance with the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
At the same time, the need for a radical improvement of the institutional and legal foundations for ensuring the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of children and the upbringing of a harmoniously developed generation is growing more and more.
Under article 35, States parties undertake to submit reports to the Committee on the measures they have taken to consolidate the rights recognized in the Convention and on the process achieved in the exercise of these rights.
To date, the Republic of Uzbekistan has submitted 5 national reports on the implementation of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
With the adoption of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of April 22, 2019 No. PP-4296 “On Additional Measures to Further Strengthen Guarantees of the Rights of the Child”, the Ombudsman now has a deputy - the Commissioner for Children's Rights. A sector is being created in the structure of the Secretariat to promote activities to ensure the rights of the child.
Based on this, amendments to the Law “On the Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights (Ombudsman)” have been developed, including those aimed at improving and ensuring broad public participation in its activities.
For children - attention and support
Firstly, children without parental care:
- until they reach the age of eighteen, they are granted the right to reserve housing in the municipal and communal housing funds of the intended purpose in which they lived for the entire period of stay in the «Mehribonlik» houses or residence with the consent of the guardianship authority with a guardian or trustee (the procedure is regulated by government decision);
- all types of social services are provided regardless of their place of registration and citizenship;
- a full consideration of their direct appeals to state bodies is guaranteed, and such appeals are not left without consideration due to the child's failure to achieve full legal capacity.
Secondly, children who have reached the age of 14 can independently file claims for the collection of alimony for their maintenance from their father or mother (if separated, from each parent at the same time). This is possible if:
- there is no agreement between parents on the payment of alimony to persons under the age of 18;
- parents do not pay child support voluntarily;
- none of the parents filed a lawsuit to recover child support.
Thirdly, plaintiffs are exempted from paying state fees and other payments when applying to the courts with a statement in order to protect children.
Fourth, from September 1, 2019, men and women have a single minimum age for marriage - 18 years. Recall that the marriage age of men was 18 years old and that of women was 17. If there are good reasons, in exceptional cases the district (city) hokim (governor) can reduce it by no more than 1 year (i.e., up to 17 years for men and women).
Fifthly, the child has the right to express his opinion in deciding in the family any issue affecting his interests, as well as in the course of any judicial or administrative proceedings. Authorities (persons) authorized to make decisions when resolving issues affecting the interests of the child should consider as an important factor the opinion of a reasonably and independently thinking child, regardless of his age, and make decisions based on the best interests of the child.
Sixth, in the system of the Republican Center for Rehabilitation and Adaptation of Victims of Violence and the Prevention of Suicide, a “helpline” (“hot line”, accessible by a single short number) is established, designed to interconnect with citizens and provide emergency psychological, psychotherapeutic, legal assistance, advice and information. With its help, they will assist children, launch a website with accessibility features.
A minor alien will not be expelled
A ban is introduced on the expulsion from Uzbekistan of a foreign citizen and stateless person under the age of 18 if one of his parents or a guardian or trustee has the right to legally reside here. This applies to cases:
- violation of the rules of stay in the Republic of Uzbekistan (see art. 225 Code of Administrative Responsibility; art. 224 of the Criminal Code);
- the execution or serving of a sentence imposed by a court for a crime committed on the territory of Uzbekistan or exemption from criminal liability or punishment.
Quotas, open statistics and «electronic» registry office
The document also provides:
- the introduction, starting from the academic year 2019/2020, of the procedure for allocating an additional admission quota of up to 1% of the total number of applicants entering universities on the basis of a state grant, for graduates of «Mehribonlik» houses and orphanages that are orphans;
- posting for 2 months on the stat.uz website statistical information on motherhood and childhood with constant updating of these data;
- full implementation by the end of the year of a system of electronic data exchange with the registry office on birth and death.
It is planned to develop a huge number of legislative and by-laws, in particular:
- draft Law “On the social protection of orphans and children left without parental care”, amendments to the laws “On guarantees on the rights of the child” and “On the prevention of offenses”, amendments and additions to the Criminal Code (toughening sanctions for committing part 2 of article .154 of the Criminal Code in relation to a minor; implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Article 135 of the Criminal Code);
- draft regulatory act on the revision of the system of guardianship and trusteeship bodies, determining the status and improving their activities;
- amendments and additions aimed at unifying the concepts of «minor» and «child» in the legislation with the aim of creating favorable conditions for the participation of persons under the age of 18 as subjects of legal relations;
- the National Program of Action for the Protection of the Rights of Children and the creation of favorable conditions for them, as well as the draft Concept for the implementation of a juvenile justice system, etc.