Uzbekistan unanimously approved legislation that criminalizes domestic violence, ultimately providing women and children with greater legal protections.
“Today, Uzbekistan finally became the fifth country in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to criminalize domestic violence as a separate criminal offence under the law, after Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Ukraine,” says Heather McGill, Amnesty International’s Central Asia Researcher.
Over 36,000 cases of violence towards women were reported in 2021 alone in the country. Under the new law, offenders will face fines and prison time, and sexual offenders will not be eligible for early release. Any sexual violence against a minor will be registered and the perpetrator will be prohibited from working with children in the future. Activist groups were actively fighting for greater protections for the women and children of Uzbekistan, and work on the legislation lasted for over a year.