Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Universal Periodic Review of Tajikistan

Statement by Australia

3 October 2011

Australia welcomes the delegation from Tajikistan and appreciates its engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.

Australia commends Tajikistan on the establishment of its national human rights institution, the Human Rights Ombudsman Institution, and encourages the government to ensure that it accords in full with the Paris Principles.

We note Tajikistan’s positive record in ratifying international human rights treaties and call on the government to implement these commitments domestically, including bringing a definition of torture into its domestic law in line with Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Australia welcomes the moratorium on the use of the death penalty since 2004. We note, however that the death penalty remains in Tajikistani law.

We welcome that a draft law to prevent domestic violence has been put before the national parliament. However, we remain concerned about reports of violence against women, forced and early marriage, child labour and trafficking. We urge Tajikistan to prioritise legislation on women’s and children’s rights, and implement domestic policies aimed at eliminating violence against women and children.

We encourage the government to ensure the protection and promotion of freedom of expression and opinion, in line with its international human rights obligations, including by abolishing criminal provisions on defamation and insult.

Australia recommends Tajikistan:

1. Ensure that its National Human Rights Institution accords in full with the Paris Principles;

2. Incorporate a definition of torture into its domestic law, in line with Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

3. Take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty, including by ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

4. Strengthen efforts to fulfil its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and

5. Abolish criminal provisions on defamation and insult.