The United Nations Human Rights Committee is a UN body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its 172 State parties.
Tajikistan went under its third periodic review at UN Human Rights Committee within the 126th session on 1-26 July 2019.
ECOM has submitted its alternative report to the HRCtee on Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Tajikistan. In particular, report tackles such issues as the Absence of Non-Discrimination Legislative Framework, Obstructing the Right to Health of MSM and Trans Persons, highlight problematic areas related to trans people’s health in Tajikistan.
The Report was prepared by ECOM in collaboration with Central Asian groups and organizations working in the field of human rights, health and well-being of the most vulnerable groups of the population, including LGBTQ people, based on information received directly from representatives of the LGBTQ community of Tajikistan, including information on human rights violations, committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. For security purposes the names of the individuals that provided the information were not disclosed, or their precise places of residence.
In its concluding observations, Committee made important remarks related to antidiscrimination legislation and SOGI-based discrimination in particular:
- While noting that article 17 of the Constitution and other legislative acts guarantee equality before the law and the rights of every person without discrimination on several grounds, the Committee is concerned that the existing legal framework does not afford comprehensive protection against discrimination on all the grounds prohibited under the Covenant, and regrets the lack of information inter alia on the prohibition of discrimination in the private sphere and on effective remedies for all forms of discrimination. The Committee notes that a working group was set up in 2018 to prepare a bill on the prohibition of discrimination and regrets that no further details have been provided regarding the bill and the timeline for its adoption (arts. 2 and 26).
- The State party should take all the measures necessary, including by adopting a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, to ensure that its legal framework provides adequate and effective substantive and procedural protection against all forms of direct, indirect and multiple discrimination, including in the private sphere, on all the prohibited grounds under the Covenant, including colour, opinion, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity and other status, as well as access to effective and appropriate remedies for victims of discrimination.
Discrimination and violence on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
- The Committee is concerned about reports of deep-rooted discrimination against LGBT individuals, including homophobic and transphobic rhetoric by public officials, violence and harassment, including arbitrary arrest, detention, and extortion by law enforcement officials. The Committee is concerned about reports, although denied by the State party, that individuals suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender were identified following special operations called “Morality” and “Purge” and placed on a registry, which exacerbates their social stigmatization. The Committee is also concerned at the statement made by the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) in January 2019 that international recommendations regarding the protection of LGBT rights would not be followed because they would be contrary to the “moral and ethical norms of relationships among people in the country” (arts. 2, 7, 9, 17 and 26).
- The State party should:
(a) provide effective protection against all forms of discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, both in law and in practice, and ensure that no such discrimination or violence is tolerated and that such conduct is properly addressed and remedied;
(b) combat homophobic and transphobic discourse, including by providing appropriate training on combating discriminatory attitudes towards LGBT individuals to law enforcement and other officials, and by conduct similar awareness-raising activities aimed at the general public; and
(c) investigate law enforcement practices to ensure that LGBT individuals are not registered, and end any such practices which unduly interfere with their rights, including to privacy and to liberty and security.
A full list of Concluding observations and other documents of the Session is available at HRC website at this link
ECOM welcomes all the above-mentioned recommendations from the UN Human Rights Committee and will make appropriate steps to support Tajik government in the implementation of the comprehensive Antidiscrimination Legislation. Additionally, ECOM will suggest providing appropriate training on combating discriminatory attitudes towards LGBT individuals to law enforcement and other officials.