• KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Uzbek Prison Visit by EU, US, and UK Diplomats

At the invitation of Uzbek authorities, UK Ambassador Timothy Smart, EU Ambassador Charlotte Adriaen and US Deputy Chief of Mission Paul Poletes visited a prison colony in the Chirchik district close to Tashkent, on 20 June. As reported by the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan, the visit included a tour of facilities for medical care and therapy, as well as two workshops where prisoners produce garments and furniture. Presentations by staff, provided an insight into the daily lives of prisoners serving their sentences. The visit marks a milestone in engagement between Uzbekistan and the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the diplomats acknowledged both the openness of the prison staff and  improvements made in recent years. Uzbekistan has announced its intention to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) under which the National Preventative Mechanism will conduct comprehensive and independent reports on detention facilities to support the Uzbek government in forwarding reforms to improve the justice sector. Charlotte Adriaen thanked both the Uzbek government and the administration of prison #13 for enabling the visit and said: “Transparency in the penitentiary system is key to Uzbekistan’s path towards the ratification of OPCAT. In this regard, and considering the positive impression provided by today’s visit, it is my firm belief that openness and cooperation with international and national monitors can only benefit the life of prisoners and Uzbekistan.” Enthused by the visit, Timothy Smart added: “It is encouraging to see Uzbekistan continue its journey towards improving human rights in the country. In the UK we have had many issues with our prisons and through open discussion and independent scrutiny, have been able to improve conditions. I am most grateful to the Uzbek government and authorities of prison #13 for such access.  I was struck by both the quality of the facilities we saw today and the focus on rehabilitation. The life skills provided are invaluable to both the individuals as well as their mahallas”.

U.S. Program Improves Lives of Over 300,000 Kyrgyz Citizens

On June 12, Bishkek hosted a conference themed  “Active Communities – Foundation for Development”  to review the success of the five-year Jigerduu Jarandar project. The event was attended by Member of the Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyz parliament) Elvira Surabaldieva, Kyrgyz Minister of Justice Ayaz Baetov, Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Development, and Migration Chyngyzbek Mamat uulu, USAID/Kyrgyz Republic Acting Mission Director James Lykos, and representatives of civil society organizations and local self-governments. As reported by the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, since 2019, the U.S. government’s Jigerduu Jarandar project – through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – has positively impacted communities across 19 municipalities in Kyrgyzstan. Committed to fostering active citizenship, the project has benefited over 62,000 residents through the creation of parks, safer sidewalks, improved street lighting, and inclusive playgrounds. The project has also provided free legal aid to 38,000 individuals, supported some 11,000 survivors of gender-based violence, and improved solid waste management systems to the benefit of over 200,000 residents. In praise of the initiative, James Lykos, Acting Mission Director of USAID/Kyrgyz Republic, commented: “The United States is proud to have supported the Kyrgyz government and local communities through the USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project. It has been a joint effort to help citizens make their communities a better and safer place, and better understand and claim their rights.” Minister of Justice Baetov expressed gratitude to the USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project for promoting initiatives in the field of legal assistance and notary services for citizens of Kyrgyzstan.    

Pandemic Hangover Continues to Affect Mental Health

According to the latest Sapien Labs Mental State of the World Report, Uzbekistan ranked last among 71 countries, including all other Central Asian countries (Turkmenistan was not included in the ranking). The ranking is based on the mood of residents and their outlook on life in 2023. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are included for the first time. The Dominican Republic tops the list, followed by Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Panama, and Malaysia. The United Kingdom occupies the penultimate place ahead of Uzbekistan. Some poor countries in Africa and Latin America have overtaken the developed countries of Europe and the Americas on a number of indicators. Researchers have noted a trend towards depressed moods since the Covid-19 pandemic - a trend which is still going strong after more than four years. They believe that low rates of mental wellbeing in rich countries are linked to multiple factors, including smartphone addiction, fast-food consumption, the breakdown of friendships and family relationships, and the rising isolation due to working from home. Furthermore, GDP per capita figures are inversely correlated with average mental wellbeing, once again confirming the old adage that "money can't buy happiness." In 2022, the results of a study on adolescent mental health were published in Uzbekistan for the first time. UNICEF, together with partner organizations, surveyed 22,854 students in 299 schools from all 14 regions to better understand the needs of adolescents and to identify school-related factors affecting their mental health and psycho-social wellbeing. The study found that more than 10% of students do not feel socially connected to their school and feel isolated. Also, a significant number of students - 15.4% - suffer from anxiety, and another 9.8% experienced depression. Based on this data, UNICEF experts recommended improving family and friendship connections, expanding social ties, and creating a comfortable school environment for adolescents. Scientists have noted that indicators of mental wellbeing have especially decreased among young people, who are most dependent on modern technology. Meanwhile, people aged 65 and older have not seen a strong deterioration in scores since 2010. Another conclusion reached was that the level of mental wellbeing depends on the frequency in which processed foods are consumed, which affects the onset of depression and reduced emotional wellbeing. An important factor was also the disruption of intra-family relationships. According to research, 10% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 do not get along with anyone in their family and prefer not to see them, while the analogous figure among the older generation is only three%. Weak family ties, scientists say, quadruple the likelihood of mental-health problems in adulthood.