The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has begun reviewing the state report of Tajikistan and also held an informal meeting with NGOs. ADC “Memorial” was the only NGO presenting alternative material that has participated in the meeting with the Committee and told experts about violations of minority rights in Tajikistan. This, in fact, has demonstrated the difficult situation in which the Tajikistan civil society has found itself today.
The alternative report presented by ADC “Memorial” to the UN CERD is devoted to the situation of the Jugi (a Central Asian Romani ethnic group) and the Pamiris and the Yaghnobi, two ethnic groups that have no statehood outside Tajikistan. The report has noted the specific problems of each of these groups, as well as the general problems, such as the lack of recognition of their ethnic identity and the value of their languages and culture on the part of the state, the lack of state support in the educational sphere, low representation in state bodies.
The Committee has noted the excessive brevity of Tajikistan’s state report and the limited scope of the data presented in it. UN CERD has also inquired about the absence of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, including legal definition of racial discrimination in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It has also noted persistent denial of the necessity for government programs to support the Roma minority of Jugi (in fact the state of Tajikistan had even conducted a special “scientific” study to justify its position). The situation of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons, who are prohibited to live in certain areas of the country and have restricted access to social and medical assistance, as well as the problems related to renaming of geographical locations without taking into account the opinion of the local population were also discussed.
The Committee scheduled to present its questions to the official delegation of Tajikistan on August 10-11, 2017.