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Independent Expert on Minority Rights Completed His Visit to Tajikistan

An independent UN expert, who visited Tajikistan, highly appreciated the initiatives of this country in the field of protecting the rights of religious and other minorities. At the same time, he believes that Tajikistan still has a lot to do in this area.

Following an 11-day trip to Tajikistan, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues Fernand de Varenne noted the “enthusiasm” with which many young officials are promoting the Tajik government’s human rights efforts.

At the same time, according to the expert, during the trip he encountered cases of misunderstanding that violation of the rights of minorities leads to increased hostility in society.

Minority rights
De Warenne expressed particular concern about the situation of members of the Djugi (Gypsy) community, sign language users, Uzbeks, religious minorities and the Pamir community of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO). The Special Rapporteur is concerned about several aspects, including the representation of these population groups in the national parliament, their access to education in their native language and freedom of religion.

De Warenne strongly recommended that Tajikistan continue its efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and review legislation to include the issue of the rights of the Roma minority (Jughi) in the National Action Plan.

Investigation of events in GBAO
Regarding the events in the GBAO region in November 2021, the Special Rapporteur called for an impartial and transparent investigation in accordance with international standards and measures to prevent tension and escalation of violence in the region. “Responding to the grievances of the Pamiri minority is an important part of this de-escalation,” he said.

Willingness to cooperate
“Tajikistan has demonstrated its readiness to cooperate and interact with international human rights mechanisms, but this was not enough,” de Warenne emphasized. “The recently adopted National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan, as well as the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Equality and Non-Discrimination” are a good start, but measures need to be taken to ensure the rights of minorities in the country.”

The Special Rapporteur will present a full report on his visit to the Human Rights Council in March 2024.

Special Rapporteurs are not UN employees and do not receive a salary for their work.

Source: UN News