Contribution to OHCHR capacity strenght

The project aims to strengthen the protection and promotion of human rights in Uzbekistan ensuring justice for victims of human rights abuses, enhancing civic space, integrating human rights principles into development and implementing UN Human Rights Mechanisms recommendation. Upon invitation by the President of Uzbekistan OHCHR has expanded its presence in the country. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Legal and judicial development
01.10.2023 - 31.12.2025
CHF  570’000
Background Human rights record of Uzbekistan has been a concern for a long time. Access to justice remains challenging. Guarantees for the independence of the judiciary is lacking. The political system remains largely authoritarian. No genuine opposition parties operate legally in Uzbekistan. The work of independent NGOs is hindered by burdensome registration requirements. Since 2016, Uzbekistan has embarked on a series of reforms aiming at departing from its authoritarian past. The 2020 Presidential Decree on human rights strategy provides for practical measures to harmonize national legislation with international standards, however implementation progress has been slow. Changes in the legislative and policy framework, including following the recent revamping of the Constitution, and the introduction of new actions plans, such as the recently adopted Human Rights Education plan may improve the human rights situation. An example of such commitment is the recent approval of legal amendments to prosecute domestic violence, as advocated by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker T¸rk during his March 2023 visit to Uzbekistan. Supporting the proposed program of OHCHR to strengthen its presence in Uzbekistan through the Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA) will enable SDC to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights as part of its new governance portfolio. Considering the sensitivity of the country's human rights agenda, as well as ROCA's good reputation in the region as a trusted partner of both civil society and the State, supporting the OHCHR project is a strategically sound approach.
Objectives To strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights in Uzbekistan, through expanded international human rights capacity. 
Target groups Direct beneficiaries are the National Human Rights Center, ministries of justice, internal affairs, foreign affairs, social affairs, gender and family affairs, judiciary, Parliament, and UN agencies; right holder’s such as human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists (including women, youth associations, persons living with disabilities), including non-registered partners with whom OHCHR has developed solid interactions. Ultimate beneficiaries are the citizens of Uzbekistan. 
Medium-term outcomes
  1. The rule of law is promoted and accountability for human rights violations strengthened. 
  2. Civic space and people’s participation are enhanced and protected 
  3. Human rights are consistently integrated in sustainable development 
  4. Stakeholders have increased capacity to implement UN Human Rights Mechanisms outcomes 

Expected results:  

  • Capacities of state authorities are strengthened to engage with and implement UN human rights mechanism recommendations as well as to design and implement socially inclusive strategies and action plans. 
  • The capacities of UN agencies to apply Human Rights-based approaches, inclusiveness and gender equality principles in programming, monitoring and reporting, are strengthened. 
  • Access to justice of victims is improved and capacities of CSOs to litigate and participate in decision-making processes are strengthened; the right to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly is promoted; 
  • The capacity of duty-bearers, international organizations and rights-holders to integrate human rights in sustainable development is strengthened. 

Results from previous phases:   This is a new project. However, SDC has been engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights throughsmall actions, such as supporting Ezgulik Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) project on “Support the coordination and advocacy work of national human rights defenders” (2023). 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Other UN Organisation
  • OHCHR Regional Office in Bishkek (contribution)

Other partners
OHCHR Regional Office in Bishkek (contribution)
Coordination with other projects and actors The United Nations Country Team is a key partner. OHCHR work will ensure the implementation of the Human Rights due diligence Policy (HRDDP) and the UNSG Call to Action by UN entities. This intervention will also look for synergies with the UNESCO project. 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    570’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    299’250 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    5’667’425 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   570’000
Project phases Phase 1 01.10.2023 - 31.12.2025   (Current phase)