Turkmenistan drafting National Human Rights Action Plan
Members of the Working Group of the Interdepartmental Commission on ensuring Turkmenistan’s compliance with its international human rights obligations have started the work on development of the first draft of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). The discussion of the methodology and major aspects of this plan was facilitated by international expert Ms. Bunafsha Gulakova at a three-day workshop organized within the framework of the joint project of the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) together with the Government of Turkmenistan.
In her opening remarks, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Turkmenistan Ms. Cao Lin said that the Human Rights Action Plan is a core document that can serve as the basis for strengthening domestic laws and policies aimed at improving human rights situation of any country. “The preparation of Turkmenistan’s NHRAP can be an excellent opportunity to start a discussion on a national human rights strategy. I hope the NHRAP can be also useful to support the country’s consideration and implementation of the concluding observations of the second Universal Periodic Review which will be carried out by the UN Human Rights Council in 2013,” said Ms. Cao.
As part of the workshop, the participants reviewed a set of documents presenting the collection of concluding recommendations for Turkmenistan by all human rights bodies. The issues highlighted in the recommendations should constitute the core of NHRAP and contribute to the overall improvement of the human rights issues in the country. They also reviewed the necessary tools and monitoring mechanisms that should be used to track the progress made by Turkmenistan in implementing the NHRAP.
“Human dignity, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights are the core values of the EU. These values are put to the forefront of EU relations with its cooperating countries. We are glad to promote these principle values in Turkmenistan, where we cherish our development cooperation agenda and a long-term engagement,” said Europa House Turkmenistan Coordinator Mr. Theo Hensels, commenting on the process of development of the NHRAP in Turkmenistan.
The current workshop concludes a series of workshops on development of the NHRAP of Turkmenistan. This process is seen as a collaborative effort of the state agencies and public associations represented in the Working Group of the Interdepartmental Commission.
It is expected that the National Human Rights Action Plan will be finalized by the end of this year.
The EU/UNDP/OHCHR project “Strengthening the National Capacity of Turkmenistan to Protect and Promote Human Rights” is implemented in partnership with the Government of Turkmenistan. Its overall objective is to increase knowledge on international human rights standards and mechanisms in Turkmenistan and to strengthen national capacities to promote and protect human rights in accordance with these standards.
Ms. Branka Šesto, Human Rights Specialist, EU/UNDP/OHCHR project