Chil­dren’s Om­buds­man: Not a Build­ing, But a Team of Ex­perts

A draft law has been devel­oped in Uzbek­istan on an om­buds­man for the pro­tec­tion of the rights of chil­dren and young peo­ple. It pro­vides for this in­sti­tu­tion to op­er­ate un­der the Pres­i­dent.

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - TODAY IN UZBEKISTAN -

In May 2017, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the UN Com­mit­tee on the Rights of the Child Re­nate Win­ter vis­ited Uzbek­istan and gave a long in­ter­view to UT about the need to in­tro­duce this in­sti­tu­tion. Then she noted that the in­tro­duc­tion of the post of chil­dren's om­buds­man is one of the rec­om­men­da­tions of the UN Com­mit­tee, although each coun­try it­self de­cides which rec­om­men­da­tions to ac­cept and which not: “But we still in­sist on the im­por­tance of es­tab­lish­ing the in­sti­tu­tion of chil­dren's om­buds­man. Only in ad­dress­ing this is­sue there is a prob­lem not so much tech­ni­cal as eth­i­cal. Af­ter all, the chil­dren's om­buds­man is not a build­ing and not ma­te­rial equip­ment, it is a team of spe­cial­ists who, in ad­di­tion to le­gal skills, have ex­pe­ri­ence in the field of ju­ve­nile jus­tice. Such a spe­cial­ist should be able to make con­tact with the child, find a com­mon lan­guage with him.”

And now, af­ter a year, we can say that Uzbek­istan is ready to in­tro­duce this in­sti­tu­tion. What is the rea­son for this? This ques­tion was an­swered by in­ter­na­tional ex­perts, par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, ex­perts in this field, who gath­ered at a round­table in the Leg­isla­tive Cham­ber of the Oliy Ma­jlis.

Par­tic­i­pants noted that the in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing the best prac­tices of chil­dren’s om­buds­men, was stud­ied dur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the draft law. The project fo­cuses on defin­ing the goals, ob­jec­tives and com­pe­ten­cies of this in­sti­tu­tion, es­tab­lish­ing the terms of ref­er­ence for the pro­tec­tion of the rights of chil­dren and young peo­ple, and ef­fec­tive forms of in­ter­ac­tion with chil­dren's and youth or­ga­ni­za­tions. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, the ac­tiv­i­ties of the chil­dren's om­buds­man will con­trib­ute to rais­ing the level of pub­lic con­scious­ness in the di­rec­tion of in­creas­ing re­spect for the child’s per­son­al­ity, his honor and dig­nity, rights, free­doms and le­git­i­mate in­ter­ests, both by state struc­tures and by par­ents and per­sons re­plac­ing them.

If we look at the statis­tics, in the world, the chil­dren's om­buds­man re­ceives two ap­peals from mi­nors ev­ery hour. They con­cern not only cases of vi­o­la­tion of their rights, but also re­quests for con­sult­ing in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion. This tes­ti­fies to the ur­gency of cre­at­ing the in­sti­tu­tion of a chil­dren's om­buds­man and, of course, fully com­plies with the UN Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child.

Re­nate Win­ter: When it comes to a case in­volv­ing a mi­nor, what is cru­cial is not to win the case, but to en­sure the best re­sult for the child.

It turns out, un­for­tu­nately, that the rights of chil­dren are most of­ten ex­posed in the world. This is due to the fact that most of them do not have the right to vote. Chil­dren of­ten face se­ri­ous prob­lems in the ju­di­cial sys­tem in de­fend­ing their rights. In this re­gard, the ques­tion was raised at the meet­ing: if for any rea­son a child can­not ap­peal to the chil­dren’s om­buds­man, can his rep­re­sen­ta­tive, for ex­am­ple, his par­ent do it for him? The an­swer was pos­i­tive, only in any case the chil­dren’s om­buds­man will have to meet with the child him­self to make sure that the ap­peal is cur­rent. And the same prin­ci­ple is fol­lowed in the ju­di­cial sphere. The judge must speak with the child with­out fail, de­spite the fact that he is rep­re­sented by a le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive in court, oth­er­wise it would be il­le­gal.

In coun­tries where there is a chil­dren’s om­buds­man, tele­phone num­bers of “hot lines” are placed at the en­trance to schools, where chil­dren can con­tact him on var­i­ous is­sues. Thus, the child has the con­fi­dence that there is a per­son who can pro­tect him.

Ac­cord­ing to Re­nate Win­ter, the chil­dren’s om­buds­man should be in­de­pen­dent, which is im­por­tant in pro­mot­ing the rights and in­ter­ests of chil­dren. In ad­di­tion, it is equally im­por­tant that the bud­get of the chil­dren’s om­buds­man and the om­buds­man for hu­man rights be sep­a­rate, which will serve to en­sure its au­ton­omy. An in­ter­na­tional ex­pert be­lieves that Uzbek­istan on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a chil­dren’s om­buds­man took a broad age range to pro­tect the rights of chil­dren and young peo­ple un­der thirty. This can lead to some dif­fi­cul­ties in prac­tice, since the in­ter­ests and prob­lems of the stu­dent and the 25-year-old young man are dif­fer­ent. There­fore, spe­cial­ists need to re­vise this point. It is also nec­es­sary to take into ac­count that the chil­dren’s om­buds­man has the right to in­ves­ti­gate the sit­u­a­tion of the vi­o­la­tion of the rights of the child, to re­quest the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion from law en­force­ment agen­cies.

In Uzbek­istan, poli­cies on chil­dren and young peo­ple are based on the pro­vi­sions of the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights, the UN Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child and other in­ter­na­tional in­stru­ments. They are re­flected in the coun­try's Con­sti­tu­tion and leg­isla­tive acts. The right of chil­dren to ed­u­ca­tion, health, moth­er­hood and child­hood, so­cial pro­tec­tion is en­sured. De­cent con­di­tions are cre­ated for their phys­i­cal, in­tel­lec­tual and spir­i­tual de­vel­op­ment.

If we talk about ju­ve­nile jus­tice, then in this di­rec­tion there are two is­sues that I would like to dwell on. The first one is about chil­dren who are in con­flict with the law. The se­cond is about those who are in con­tact with the law – vic­tims or wit­nesses. In many coun­tries, the law on ju­ve­nile jus­tice works, but the ques­tion is not whether there is a law or not, as a rule, it has been adopted in many coun­tries, but the ma­jor ob­jec­tive is to have it work.

In gen­eral, speak­ing of chil­dren’s jus­tice, it should be noted that it is fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent from gen­eral jus­tice. There is a mech­a­nism that in­cludes all stages and as­pects of work­ing with mi­nors, in­clud­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, pre-trial pro­ceed­ings, the process it­self and post-lit­i­ga­tion. All of these stages are fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent from those ap­plied to an adult. There­fore, many na­tions have spe­cial pros­e­cu­tors, lawyers and so­cial ser­vice work­ers who are ex­clu­sively in­volved in pro­tect­ing the rights of mi­nors. To deal with such mat­ters, they un­dergo spe­cial train­ing. Af­ter all, an or­di­nary judge may be well versed in laws, but un­fa­mil­iar with psy­chol­ogy and ped­a­gogy.

We know that dur­ing the trial with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of an adult, the lawyer and the pros­e­cu­tor act as com­peti­tors; one of them must win this case. When it comes to a case in­volv­ing a mi­nor, cru­cial here is not to win the case, but to en­sure the best re­sult in the in­ter­ests of the child.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Uzbekistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.