As the principal United Nations agency mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, OHCHR leads global human rights efforts and speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide. OHCHR provides a forum for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today’s human rights challenges, and act as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information, and advocacy activities in the United Nations system. Since Governments have the primary responsibility to protect human rights, the Office High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides assistance to Governments, through the provision of expertise and technical assistance to help implement international human rights standards on the ground.

OHCHR in Tajikistan

OHCHR works in Tajikistan through the OHCHR Regional office for Central Asia headed by OHCHR CA Regional Representative.

In June 2008, an agreement was signed between OHCHR and the Kyrgyz Republic, which established a regional office for Central Asia located in Bishkek. It offers its services to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The regional office works with countries to strengthen the capacity of governments, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations to increase compliance with human rights standards and improve protection against violations.

OHCHR has been working in Tajikistan since 2001 through the Human rights component of the UN Tajikistan Office of Peace-Building. It has been involved in a number of activities including: assisting the Government and civil society in the preparing reports to the UN treaty bodies, supporting the implementation of the Government Program on human rights education, building the capacities of the educational and civil society representatives in teaching human rights and assisting the development of Human Rights textbooks for secondary schools, supporting the establishment of an Ombudsman Institution, providing assistance for the visits of Special Rapporteurs and following up on their concluding observations as well as the recommendations of treaty body committees. In 2007 UNTOP’s mandate expired and the office was closed. Further, OHCHR continued its activities through the National Program Officer (NPO) for Tajikistan of the OHCHR Regional office.

In 2007-2008 OHCHR supported projects on the prevention of violence against women and the right to adequate housing in Tajikistan by developing the capacity of NGOs. In 2008 OHCHR jointly with the Ministry of Education organized a training session for secondary school teachers on human rights education. During 2007-2008, OHCHR jointly with Prosecutor’s office and the training centre for judges organized training sessions on international human rights standards for prosecutors and judges. In 2009 the OHCHR organized a Round table with experts’ participation on the right to adequate housing and continued to support the establishment of the Ombudsman Institution following the 2009 appointment of an Ombudsman. In 2010 a Human Rights Adviser (HRA) was deployed on the basis of an agreement between the UNDP, UN Resident Coordinator and OHCHR HQ with the aim to support the UNCT in developing capacities and strategies to strengthen the national human rights protection systems. To this end the HRA works with the Government, civil society and assists the UNCT in providing human rights based approach in UN programming.

In 2011-2012 HRA and NPO worked in implementing the OHCHR regional priorities in the following areas: raising the awareness with government officials and NGOs on the need for an effective mechanism to implement the decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee; coordinating the implementation of the UN Joint Program (2011-2012) aiming to strengthen the capacities of the Ombudsman Institution, in which nine UN agencies took part; organizing series of seminars and roundtables to raise awareness of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and promote its ratification with parliamentarians, government officials and NGOs; supporting the government on the preparation of the national report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Tajikistan and the UN Country Team contribution to UPR, supported the drafting process of the new Housing code and promoted the ratification of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.
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