Uzbekistan has been carrying out reforms on the principle of human interests above all else and ensuring the proper protection of human rights. Thus, the country has identified human rights protection as one of the priority areas.
The analysis demonstrates that work in this area has a systemic character. The country has made a breakthrough in ensuring socio-economic, civil, and political rights.
First of all, the government carried out outstanding work to eradicate forced and child labor in cotton harvesting campaigns. For many years, it is no secret that these very issues have been a stigma on the international image of Uzbekistan. The government succeeded in close interaction with international organizations (including the ILO) and civil activists to eliminate problems in this area. As such, the government carried out significant structural changes in the agriculture sector. The high political will of the country's leadership played an undoubted role in this. As a result, in its 2020 report, the International Labor Organization announced the end of child and forced labor in the cotton industry of Uzbekistan. According to the organization, the republic has made significant progress in enforcing fundamental labor rights in the cotton fields. The systematic recruitment of students, teachers, doctors, and nurses has wholly stopped. For the first time in ten years of monitoring in cotton-growing regions of Uzbekistan, the Uzbek Human Rights Forum did not record a single case of forced labor.
The following breakthrough result of the ongoing reforms to ensure human rights were transforming the notorious propiska system. Society viewed it as an obstacle to citizens' freedom of movement for many years. President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev called it shackles on the feet of a citizen and took measures to change it radically. According to the efforts to transform this system, there is a transition to a notification registration system. These measures also favorably affected the property rights of citizens. For many years, citizens from other regions of the country could not buy housing in the capital in their name if they did not have a permanent residence permit in Tashkent. Many citizens had to register their real estate in Tashkent in the name of acquaintances with a permanent residence permit and then live as tenants in their own house. As a result of the reforms, after abolishing the requirement for registration when buying housing, people bought almost 13 thousand apartments in Tashkent - of which 70% were purchased by people living in other cities. The government has also taken decisive measures to reduce the number of stateless persons. Last year alone, 50 thousand compatriots acquired Uzbek citizenship. This year, more than 20 thousand people will receive citizenship.
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