Human Rights Council
Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
Geneva, 22 April–3 May 2013
Compilation prepared by the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with
paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council
The present report is a compilation of the informat ion contained in the reports of
treaty bodies and special procedures, including obs ervations and comments by the State
concerned, and of the Office of the High Commission er for Human Rights (OHCHR), and
in other relevant official United Nations documents . It is presented in a summarized manner
due to word-limit constraints. For the full text, p lease refer to the document referenced.
This report does not contain any opinions, views or suggestions on the part of OHCHR
other than those contained in public reports and st atements issued by the Office. It follows
the general guidelines adopted by the Human Rights Council in its decision 17/119.
Information included herein has been systematically referenced in endnotes. The report has
been prepared taking into consideration the periodi city of the review and developments
during that period
United Nations A /HRC/WG.6/16/TKM/2
General Assembly Distr.: General
8 February 2013
I. Background and framework
A. Scope of international obligations 1
International human rights treaties 2
Status during previous cycle Action after review Not ratified/not
succession ICERD (1994)
ICCPR-OP 2 (2000)
3 ICCPR-OP 1 (1997)
CAT, art. 20 (1999)
art. 8 (2009)
art. 6 (2010) ICERD, art. 14
ICCPR, art. 41
arts. 21 and 22
Other main relevant international instruments
Status during previous cycle Action after review Not ratified
succession Palermo Protocol 4
Conventions on refugees
Geneva Conventions of 12 August
1949 and Additional Protocols I and
ILO fundamental conventions
except Convention Nos. 138 and
7 1954 and 1961
9 Convention on the
Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide
Rome Statute of the
Additional Protocol III
to the 1949 Geneva
ILO Convention No.
ILO Conventions Nos.
169 and 189
1. One or more treaty bodies encouraged Turkmenista n to ratify OP-ICESCR,
ICRMW, CPED as well the Rome Statute. 13 The Committee against Torture (CAT) invited
Turkmenistan to consider ratifying OP-CAT and to es tablish a national preventive
14 Additionally, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
(CERD) 15 and CAT 16 recommended that Turkmenistan make the declaration s under article
14 of ICERD and articles 21 and 22 of CAT, respecti vely.
2. UNESCO stated that Turkmenistan should be encour aged to ratify the 1960
Convention against Discrimination in Education.
B. Constitutional and legislative framework
3. Four treaty bodies welcomed the adoption of new Laws. 18 United Nations Country
Team (UNCT) provided information on efforts made to bring Turkmenistan’s legislation in
line with its international treaty obligations. In August 2012, the Criminal Code was
reportedly amended, following the dialogue with the Committee against Torture, to give a
definition of torture in line with article 1 of CAT .
4. In 2009, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of re ligion or belief indicated that
several provisions of the amended Religious Organiz ations Law were incompatible with
international human rights standards and contradict ed the Constitution of Turkmenistan in
some instances. She recommended review of the Relig ious Organizations Law, and that the
prohibition on unregistered religious activities; a nd undue restrictions on religious material,
education and attire be removed from the Religious Organizations Law.
C. Institutional and human rights infrastructure a nd policy measures
5. CAT regretted that the existing national protection mechanisms within the Office of
the President, including the National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights and the
State Commission to Review Citizens’ Complaints on the Activities of Law Enforcement
Agencies, do not comply with the Paris Principles. 21 While noting Turkmenistan’s response
to the universal periodic review (UPR) recommendati on to establish an independent
national human rights institute,
22 CAT, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimin ation
against Women (CEDAW), the Human Rights Committee ( HR Committee) and CERD
recommended the establishment of an independent nat ional human rights institution, in
accordance with the Paris Principles, with the Comm ittee on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights (CESCR) adding that it be mandated to monito r compliance with the rights under
23 UNCT noted that the discussion on establishing suc h a body had begun. 24
6. UNCT noted the first step towards developing a n ational human rights action plan,
beginning with a workshop in June 2012, and that na tional counterparts have expressed a
wish to continue that work.
25 CEDAW also recommended that Turkmenistan adopt a
national action plan to implement the Convention an d the Committee’s concluding
7. In 2012, the HR Committee was concerned that non e of the provisions of ICCPR
had been invoked before national courts, urging Tur kmenistan to raise awareness of the
Covenant among judges, lawyers and prosecutors.
27 Similar observations were made by
CEDAW 28 with CAT also noting the comments made by the Turk menistan delegation that
the direct applicability of the Convention by court s was envisaged shortly. 29
II. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms
8. In 2012, the ILO Committee of Experts on the App lication of Conventions and
Recommendations noted with serious concern that the Government has not provided
information on the submission to the competent auth orities of the instruments adopted by
the Conference at 16 sessions held between 1994 and 2011. Technical assistance could be
provided to overcome the serious delay.
A. Cooperation with treaty bodies 31
9. UNCT indicated that Turkmenistan started to enga ge in a constructive dialogue with
United Nations human rights monitoring bodies and s ubmitted its reports to all treaty
bodies. Some of these reports were critically overd ue.
1. Reporting status
Treaty body Concluding
previous review Latest report
observations Reporting status
CERD Aug. 2005 2011 March 2012 Eighth to eleventh r
eports due in
2009/2010 Dec. 2011 Second report due in 2016
2010 March 2012 Second report due in 2015
CEDAW May 2006 2011 Oct. 2012 Fifth report due in 2 016.
CAT – 2009 May 2011 Second report due in 2015
CRC June 2006 2011 2012 – Second to fourth reports pending
consideration. Initial OPCRC-AC
and OP-CRC-SC pending
CRPD – 2011 – Initial report pending consideration
2. Responses to specific follow-up requests by treaty bodies
Treaty body Due in Subject matter Submitted in
CERD 2012 Minority groups; hate speech; and stateless
persons. 33 –
HR Committee 2013 Torture and ill-treatment in plac
es of detention;
judiciary independence; and freedom of
CEDAW 2014 National machinery for the advancement o f
women; and Violence against women.
Fundamental legal safeguards; monitoring places
of detention; and Enforced disappearances and
incommunicado detention. 37 2012
Treaty body Numbers of views Status
HR Committee 339 Dialogue ongoing. 40
10. The HR Committee was concerned at the non-satis factory degree of implementation
of its Views and urged Turkmenistan to establish a mechanism to implement them. 41 CAT
shared these concerns. 42
B. Cooperation with special procedures 43
Status during previous cycle Current status 44
Standing invitation No No
Visits undertaken Freedom of religion or belief (4-10
September 2008) None
Visits agreed to in
Visits requested Torture (requested in 2003 and
2007) Arbitrary detention (reiterated
Education (requested in 2006)
Health (requested in 2006) Health (requested in Jun e
2011, reiterated in July 2011)
Human rights defenders (requested
in 2003 and 2004) Freedom of peaceful assembly
and of association (requested
Independence of judges and
lawyers (requested in 2003)
Freedom of opinion and expression
(requested in 2003)
Arbitrary detention (requested in
Summary executions (requested in
Violence against women (requested
in 2007) Violence against women
Responses to letters of
allegations and urgent
appeals During the period under review, seven communication
s were sent.
The Government replied to one communication.
11. In 2011, CAT urged Turkmenistan to strengthen c ooperation with United Nations
human rights mechanisms, in particular by permittin g visits from the Special Rapporteur on
the question of torture and the Working Group on Ar bitrary Detention.
C. Cooperation with the Office of the High Commiss ioner for Human
12. UNCT reported that the Office of the High Commi ssioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) is one of the implementation partners of th e joint EU/UNDP/OHCHR Project
“Strengthening the capacity of Turkmenistan to prom ote and protect human rights.” As a
result of the project activities, the Government im proved its interaction with the treaty
bodies through the intensive work on enhancing the knowledge of officials representing
Turkmenistan before the Committees.
III. Implementation of international human rights obligations
A. Equality and non-discrimination
13. In 2012, CEDAW expressed its concern that the definition of discrimination
against women in the Constitution refers only to ci vil rights and urged Turkmenistan to
include in the Constitution or in the Law on State Guarantees on Gender Equality the
principle of equality with respect to all rights an d a definition of discrimination against
women in line with the Convention.
14. CESCR was concerned that certain professions we re not accessible to women.
The HR Committee urged Turkmenistan to revise its L abour Code to eliminate the negative
stereotypes against women that restrict their parti cipation, particularly in the employment
49 CEDAW urged Turkmenistan to make the necessary ame ndments in the Labour
Code and Presidential Decree No.10732 50 and to put in place a comprehensive strategy to
eliminate the patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles of women
15. UNCT also drew attention to CEDAW’s call for de facto equality.
encouraged Turkmenistan to adopt temporary special measures in all areas in which women
are underrepresented or disadvantaged,
53 with CESCR specifically referring to the adoption
of such measures in the labour market and higher ed ucation. 54
16. In 2012, CERD added its concern at the double d iscrimination faced by women
and girls from ethnic minorities and recommended th at Turkmenistan enhance their access
to education, health care and employment.
17. CERD recommended that Turkmenistan amend its le gislation to include a definition
of racial discrimination in full conformity with ar ticle 1 of ICERD or adopt a general
prohibition of racial discrimination that covers al l spheres of social life.
56 CERD was also
concerned about the broad provisions of article 177 of the Criminal Code, such as on
“enmity” or “offending ethnic pride”, recommending that Turkmenistan define criminal
offences to ensure that they do not lead to unneces sary or disproportionate interference with
freedom of expression.
18. Recalling its previous concluding observations, CERD referred to concerns at the
prevalence of hate speech by high-ranking Governmen t officials and recommended that
Turkmenistan take immediate measures to effectively investigate and bring to justice
perpetrators of reported hate crimes regardless of their official status.
19. In 2011, CESCR expressed concern at reports tha t the “Turkmenization” policy set
out preference for persons of Turkmen origin and th at “third generation tests” were
imposed on persons wishing to access higher educati on and public sector employment.
The HR Committee was also concerned at reported all egations of the use of such a policy in
reducing opportunities for ethnic minorities in pol itical life.
60 CERD recommended that
Turkmenistan address problems of ethnically-related social exclusion and segregation. 61
20. In 2012, CERD noted that there were 20,000 stat eless persons in Turkmenistan and
that Turkmenistan’s agreement with a neighbouring c ountry regarding dual citizenship had
been terminated. It recommended that Turkmenistan u rgently address statelessness and take
measures to ensure that the solution of the issues related to citizenship does not increase the
number of stateless persons.
21. The HR Committee was concerned at the deep-root ed stereotypes against
individuals on the basis of their sexual orientatio n or gender identity and urged
Turkmenistan to put an end to the social stigmatiza tion of homosexuality.
B. Right to life, liberty and security of the pers on
22. In 2009, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances indicated
that it had transmitted one newly-reported case to the Government concerning Boris
Shikhmuradov, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, w ho disappeared on 25 December 2002
64 In 2012, the Working Group noted that the outstand ing case had been
retransmitted and, regrettably, no response had bee n received from the Government. 65 CAT
referred in particular to the lack of information o n the fate and whereabouts of Gulgeldy
Annaniazov, Ovezgeldy Ataev, Boris Shikhmuradov, Ba tyr Berdyev, and those imprisoned
in connection with the assassination attempt on the former President in 2002.
66 The HR
Committee urged Turkmenistan to make known immediat ely the whereabouts of those
convicted for allegedly attempting to assassinate t he former President; and allow visits from
members of their families and access to their lawye rs.
23. CAT urged Turkmenistan to investigate death in custody incidents and prosecute
those responsible; ensure independent forensic exam inations of death in custody cases; and
provide details of any investigation into the alleg ed death in custody of Ms. Muradova.
24. CAT was deeply concerned at allegations about t he widespread practice of torture
and ill-treatment of detainees. It was concerned th at persons deprived of their liberty,
including minors, were tortured, ill-treated and th reatened by public officers, especially
when apprehended and during pretrial detention, to extract confessions and as an additional
25. CAT urged Turkmenistan to establish a national system that independently and
regularly monitors and inspects all places of deten tion.
70 The HR Committee also
recommended that Turkmenistan allow visits by recog nized international humanitarian
organizations to all detention places.
26. CAT recommended that Turkmenistan draw up a com prehensive plan to address
violence in all detention facilities, including the women’s prison colony in Dashoguz.
CEDAW urged Turkmenistan to establish clear procedu res for complaints and mechanisms
for monitoring. CEDAW called upon Turkmenistan to e nsure that allegations by women
detainees about discriminatory treatment and gender -specific abuse were investigated and
perpetrators are prosecuted.
73 UNCT referred to amendments to the Criminal Code i n
August 2012 specifically penalizing the torture of women (art. 1821), and to special
provisions aimed at improving the conditions of wom en in custody.
27. CAT urged Turkmenistan to bring the conditions of detention into line with
international standards, particularly by establishi ng non-custodial detentions and separating
minors detained from adults.
75 UNCT reported that the Government expressed its
determination to improve standards of prisons, part icularly facilities for women and under
18 year olds.
28. CAT was concerned at hazing in the armed forces , conducted by, or with the
consent, acquiescence or approval of officers, whic h led to suicide and death. It
recommended that Turkmenistan eradicate hazing in t he armed forces; investigate and
prosecute such incidents, including suicides and de ath caused by ill-treatment and mental
pressure; and provide rehabilitation of victims.
29. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopte d Opinion No. 15/2010 and
considered information on the situation of Annakurb an Amanklychev, a member of the
Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation, and Sapardurdy Kh ajiev.
78 The Working Group
concluded that their detention was arbitrary and ca lled for their immediate release and the
provision of compensation for damages
79 with CAT urging Turkmenistan to implement the
Working Group’s decision. 80
30. CAT was concerned about persons arrested and sentenced at closed trials without
proper defence and imprisoned incommunicado. It urg ed Turkmenistan to abolish
incommunicado detention; release all persons held i ncommunicado and inform relatives of
their fate and whereabouts; investigate alleged dis appearances cases; and provide remedy.
The HR Committee had similar concerns and recommend ations. 82 CAT recommended that
all persons deprived of their liberty be afforded a ll fundamental legal safeguards from the
very outset of their detention.
31. CAT expressed concern at the reported misuse of psychiatric hospitals to detain
persons particularly for the non-violent expression of political views. It recommended that
Turkmenistan provide information about the outcome of investigations into the alleged
forced confinement in psychiatric hospitals of
Durdykuliev and Durdymuradov. 84
85 and CESCR 86 were concerned at the absence of specific legislat ion on
violence against women. CEDAW urged Turkmenistan to adopt expeditiously a
comprehensive law addressing all forms of violence against women; prosecute perpetrators;
develop a comprehensive national plan; raise public awareness, through the media and
educational programmes; encourage women to report i ncidents; and provide assistance and
protection to women victims, especially in rural ar eas.
33. UNCT highlighted that the law concerning corpor al punishment of children in
Turkmenistan did not explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings,
including alternative care settings; and the Commit tee on the Rights of the Child
recommended explicit prohibition. By law, only corp oral punishment that was considered
to cause harm was prohibited.
34. The HR Committee was concerned at the use of ch ildren for cotton harvesting and
urged Turkmenistan to protect children from the har mful effects of all forms of child
89 In 2012, UNCT stated that child labour was illegal . However, enforcement of the
laws had to be improved, including in relation to f amilies using their children in seasonal
35. UNCT reported that in May 2010, the Parliament amended the Criminal Code,
which, inter alia, penalized trafficking in human b eings.
91 CEDAW recommended that
Turkmenistan adopt a national plan of action to imp lement the Human Trafficking Act and
address the root causes of trafficking and prostitu tion, including poverty.
92 CESCR also
urged Turkmenistan to increase the provision of cou nselling, shelter, legal assistance and
other rehabilitative services to victims; and ensur e formal victim identification procedures,
victim referral or victim sensitivity training for border guards and police officers.
93 The HR
Committee 94 and UNCT 95 also made recommendations to address human traffick ing.
C. Administration of justice, including impunity, and the rule of law
36. CAT was deeply concerned at the ineffective fun ctioning of the justice system
apparently caused by the lack of independence of th e procuracy and judiciary and regretted
that responsibility to appoint and promote judges r ested with the President.
96 The HR
Committee urged Turkmenistan: to take all necessary measures to safeguard the
independence of the judiciary by guaranteeing judge s’ tenure of office and to sever the
administrative and other ties with the Executive Of fice. The HR Committee also expressed
concern at reported widespread corruption in the ju diciary and urged Turkmenistan to
37. The HR Committee urged Turkmenistan to guarante e, in practice, the exclusion by
the judiciary of any evidence obtained under any fo rm of coercion and torture.
38. CAT also urged Turkmenistan to prevent acts of torture and ill-treatment; eliminate
impunity for alleged perpetrators; carry out prompt , impartial and exhaustive
99 and suspend the allegedly responsible officials fr om their duties during
those investigations. 100
39. UNCT reported that the Parliament adopted a new Law on legal defence and legal
40. The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion o r belief urged the Government to
initiate reforms in the judiciary, so as to offer e ffective legal means of redress and
compensation for denial of freedom of religion or b elief.
102 CAT 103 and CERD 104 also made
recommendations for providing redress in practice.
41. CEDAW, while welcoming Turkmenistan’s ratificat ion of OP-CEDAW, was
concerned that women, especially those in rural and remote areas, lacked information to
claim their rights. CEDAW called for all appropriat e measures to be taken by Turkmenistan
to enhance women’s awareness of their rights and th e means to enforce them, including
through cooperation with civil society and the medi a.
42. UNCT reported on programmes or plans adopted, i ncluding in relation to juvenile
106 The development of appropriate policies in line wi th the 2012 General Juvenile
Justice System Development Programme was needed to bring existing practices into
compliance with the international standards on juve nile justice.
107 UNCT made
recommendations which included allowing relevant in ternational organizations to visit the
correctional-educational facility for juvenile offe nders and women’s prisons so as to better
assess needs and provide assistance.
D. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
43. CESCR called upon Turkmenistan to prevent child marriages 109 and CEDAW 110 and
UNCT 111 welcomed the new Family Code, which raised the mar riage age to 18 years.
While noting that polygamy is illegal in Turkmenist an, CESCR was concerned that it
remained widely practiced; and called upon Turkmeni stan to eliminate this phenomenon.
44. The HR Committee urged Turkmenistan to decrimin alize sexual relations between
consenting adults of the same sex.
E. Freedom of movement
45. The HR Committee was concerned at reports that Turkmenistan restricted the exit
and entry into the country for those on the list of individuals under State surveillance. The
Committee also regretted that Turkmenistan maintain ed the system of mandatory
registration at the place of residence, which was a prerequisite for residence, employment,
acquisition of real estate and access to health ser vices. Turkmenistan should ensure that
restrictions on the movement of individuals within the territory of the State party, as well as
the right to exit, and any surveillance programmes for purposes of State security are
compatible with the strict requirements of article 12 of ICCPR.
114 CESCR recommended
that Turkmenistan ensure that its system of residen ce registration does not impede the
enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights b y all citizens without discrimination,
irrespective of the place of registration.
F. Freedom of religion or belief, expression, association and peaceful
assembly, and right to participate in public and po litical life
46. In 2008, The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief noted that a high
level of tolerance and a climate of religious harmo ny prevailed at the societal level in
Turkmenistan; however, there still continued to be mistrust of religious organizations and
collective manifestation of religion.
116 She also stated that although the situation had mu ch
improved since 2007, individuals and religious comm unities, both registered and
unregistered, remained under close scrutiny and sti ll faced a number of difficulties when
manifesting their freedom of religion or belief.
117 Similar concerns were raised by
CESCR 118 and the HR Committee. 119
47. The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion o r belief noted that Council on
Religious Affairs exclusively appointed Sunni Musli m Imams to represent it at the regional
level, therefore leaving religious minorities out o f the regional and local governmental
structures. She expressed the view that it was inap propriate to give a governmental body
which only includes Sunni Muslims and Russian Ortho dox Christians the powers to decide
on the registration of other religious groups.
48. The Special Rapporteur recommended that the Gov ernment ensure that religious
communities incur no obstructions with regard to th e building, opening, renting or use of
places of worship and that they are not deprived of their places of worship.
49. In 2010, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of r eligion or belief and the Chair of the
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention sent a joint c ommunication regarding allegations
that five Jehovah’s Witnesses and conscientious obj ectors in Turkmenistan had been
arrested and convicted for refusing to serve in the military.
122 The Special Rapporteur made
recommendations. 123 The HR Committee urged Turkmenistan to review its legislation to
provide for alternative military service, clearly s tipulating the right to conscientious
objection to military service; halt prosecutions of individuals refusing the military service
on grounds of conscience; and release those individ uals currently serving prison
50. UNESCO referred to reported detentions, harassm ent and intimidation of journalists,
citing as an example the attempts to report on the Abadan explosion in 2011 which the
authorities allegedly attempted to keep quiet. Jour nalists or photographers who tried to
document the aftermath faced detention.
125 CAT 126 and the HR Committee 127 also noted
with concern reported acts of intimidation, reprisa ls and threats against human rights
defenders, journalists and their relatives; and tha t human rights defenders had faced arrest
on criminal charges. CAT expressed particular conce rn that on 30 September 2010,
Turkmenistan President instructed the Ministry of N ational Security to lead an
“uncompromising fight again those who slander our d emocratic secular State.”
Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opini on and expression shared CAT’s
concerns and urged the Government to guarantee all individuals’ right to freedom of
opinion and expression, and to promote an open envi ronment where individuals can express
diverse and critical views and opinions without fea r of harassment or persecution.
51. UNCT observed that, while inhabitants of the capita l and regions had access to
international TV and radio channels, restrictions i n the media environment, including social
media, limited freedom of expression and access to information.
130 UNESCO observed that
Internet access was severely restricted, and that t he Government monitored those who
131 Recommendations to address such concerns were made by the HR
Committee 132 and CERD 133 with CESCR urging Turkmenistan to ensure free acce ss to
diverse sources of information and to cease the pra ctice of censorship of electronic
communication and blocking of Internet sites, there by making the Internet available to all
that desire it. 134
52. Additionally, UNESCO encouraged the Government to decriminalize d efamation
in accordance with international standards; begin t he process of introducing a freedom of
information law to enable public information to be accessed easily and freely by the public
in accordance with international standards; allow j ournalists and media workers to practice
in a safe, free, independent, and pluralistic media environment as part of their fundamental
human rights; and strengthen capacity in the field of journalism standards and ethics to
develop the media self-regulatory mechanism both fo r media professionals and policy-
53. CEDAW remained concerned at the lack of informa tion about civil society
organizations, such as women’s and human rights org anizations, and the strict legal and
procedural requirements for the registration of non -governmental and civil society
organizations, as well as restrictions imposed on t heir activities, and urged Turkmenistan to
provide an enabling environment for the establishme nt and active involvement of women’s
and human rights organizations.
136 Concerned that the Law on Public Associations
restricted freedom of association, the HR Committee urged Turkmenistan to reform its
137 Equally, the HR Committee expressed concern about the refusal to
grant entry visas to international human rights org anizations, urging Turkmenistan to allow
international human rights organizations into the c ountry.
54. According to UNCT, amendments of electoral laws were introduced, with an overall
objective to develop a unified electoral code. Foll owing the adoption of the Law on
Political Parties the new “Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs” was launched in August
55. CERD recommended that Turkmenistan ensure equal opportunities and treatment
of all individuals in private and public employment , including election to Parliamentary
posts, and recruitment to posts in the State admini stration or judicial bodies, without
140 CEDAW was concerned at the underrepresentation of women at all levels of
political and public life; and systematic barriers impeding women’s equal participation in
political life, with the HR Committee also expressi ng concern that women remained
underrepresented in the private sector, particularl y in decision-making positions. Specific
recommendations were made by the HR Committee
141 and CEDAW. 142
G. Right to work and to just and favourable condit ions of work
56. CESCR was concerned that the National Trade Union Centre, the only trade union
in Turkmenistan, was controlled by the Government. It recommended that Turkmenistan
remove all impediments for creating trade unions; a nd consider adopting a specific law
outlining the modalities of the right to organize s trike action.
57. Concerned that 52.8 per cent of women in Turkme nistan work in the informal
sector, CEDAW recommended the establishment of a re gulatory framework for the
144 with CESCR recommending that Turkmenistan’s social security system
provide adequate coverage and minimum pensions, inc luding for informal sector
58. CESCR was concerned at the high unemployment level and urged Turkmenistan to
H. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living
59. UNCT indicated that there was an established State system of social security but
there were gaps in the system of family and child s upport services at the local level due in
part to complex administrative procedures.
60. CESCR recommended that Turkmenistan: develop a policy to reduce poverty,
including by reducing inequalities in wealth distri bution; and implement legislation
guaranteeing safe drinking water and adequate water sanitation, paying particular attention
to rural areas.
61. CESCR was concerned that Turkmenistan has forci bly relocated human rights
activists, members of ethnic minorities and their f amily members; and that a large number
of forced evictions had been carried out in the con text of the urban renewal project
(“National Programme of Improvement of Social Condi tions for the Population of Villages,
Settlements, Towns, Districts, and Rural Centers th rough 2020”). It urged Turkmenistan to
refrain from forcibly relocating or evicting indivi duals and recalled that eviction or
relocation should be carried out in strict complian ce with international human rights law.
I. Right to health
62. UNCT reported that a National Strategy on HIV w as approved in 2012 for the
period 2012-2016. An HIV action plan is being curre ntly developed. Both documents
suggest a more proactive approach to combating HIV/ AIDS and measures to overcome
stigma and discrimination associated with HIV.
150 Access to information and the general
awareness level on the right to reproductive health remained low among adolescents. 151
CEDAW, while welcoming the National Reproductive He alth Strategy (2011–2015), urged
Turkmenistan to promote education on sexual and rep roductive health and rights, targeting
adolescent girls and boys and paying special attent ion to early pregnancy and control of
sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS .
63. CEDAW expressed concern at increased fees for m edical services while the quality
153 UNCT reported that the Ministry of Health was prep aring for
restructuring the health financing system to introd uce compulsory medical insurance,
starting from 2016. UNCT also reported that, despit e demonstrable progress, the levels of
infant mortality and under-five child mortality rem ained high. Child survival and
development was affected by stunting and high iron deficiency anaemia rates (over 40 per
cent among children of 6-59 months). UNCT indicated that limited access to official and
quality data had proven a major impediment to devel opment planning
154 and made
recommendations to address its various concerns. 155
J. Right to education
64. UNESCO stated that Turkmenistan was engaging in a review of the education
system and the vocational training sector with the European Commission’s support. 156
UNCT commented that the quality of education at tim es remained a challenge.
Additionally, the frequent and prolonged participat ion of children and students in cultural
or political festivities affected learning achievem ents.
65. CESCR made recommendations to address its conce rns at the obstacles to quality
education for secondary school graduates wishing to enter higher education in
Turkmenistan and abroad and the unofficial fees to access higher educational institutions.
66. CEDAW urged Turkmenistan to ensure equal access for girls and women to all
levels of education; and to raise awareness of educ ation as a human right and as the basis
for the empowerment of women.
K. Persons with disabilities
67. UNCT reported that children with disabilities w ere admitted to special institutions
and not raised in family environments in their comm unity. There were legal, procedural,
physical and attitudinal barriers to a fully-fledge d participation of children with disabilities
in society, including their visibility in the media . Community-based services and support to
children with disabilities and their families was l acking. UNCT, while noting that an
ongoing joint United Nations project promotes socia l inclusion and integration of persons
160 made recommendations for Turkmenistan to set up a follow-up
framework including independent mechanisms to promo te, protect and monitor the
L. Minorities and indigenous peoples
68. CERD recommended that Turkmenistan observe the principle of self-identification
of ethnic and national minorities and establish a m echanism of consultation with
representatives of minority groups.
M. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
69. The Office of the United Nations High Commissio ner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted
that Turkmenistan was the first country in Central Asia to become party to the two
Statelessness Conventions. UNHCR indicated its read iness to assist the Government with
70. CERD welcomed the measures taken by Turkmenista n to facilitate the return of
7,309 ethnic Turkmens from abroad to take up reside nce in their homeland; and the
granting of citizenship to more than 13,000 refugee s and awarding permanent residence to
more than 3,000 other refugees.
recommended that Turkmenistan provide UNHCR with ac cess to statistical
data related to detained foreigners, and to foreign ers who have been expelled, returned or
otherwise refused entry at Turkmenistan’s borders; and share with UNHCR statistics on the
number of stateless persons and information about t he processing of the applications for
72. UNHCR recommended that Turkmenistan revise the 2012 Refugee Law in order to
include a rights and gender-based approach and to e nsure conformity with international
refugee and human rights standards, including expli cit recognition of the principle of non-
refoulement in accordance with article 33 of the 19 51 Convention, the right to family unity
and acknowledgement of gender-based persecution as a ground for refugee status.
also made recommendations. 167
1 Unless indicated otherwise, the status of ratifica tions of instruments listed in the table may be fou nd
on the official website of the United Nations Treat y Collection database, Office of Legal Affairs of
the United Nations Secretariat, http://treaties.un. org/. Please also refer to the United Nations
compilation on Turkmenistan from the previous cycle (A/HRC/WG.6/3/TKM/2).
2 The following abbreviations have been used for thi s document:
ICERD International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
ICESCR International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
OP-ICESCR Optional Protocol to ICESCR
ICCPR International Covenant on Civil and Political Rig hts
ICCPR-OP 1 Optional Protocol to ICCPR
ICCPR-OP 2 Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR, aiming a t the abolition of the death
CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of D iscrimination against
OP-CEDAW Optional Protocol to CEDAW
CAT Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuma n or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
OP-CAT Optional Protocol to CAT
CRC Convention on the Rights of the Child
OP-CRC-AC Optional Protocol to CRC on the involvement of children in armed
OP-CRC-SC Optional Protocol to CRC on the sale of childr en, child prostitution and
OP-CRC-IC Optional Protocol to CRC on a communications p rocedure
ICRMW International Convention on the Protection of t he Rights of All Migrant
Workers and Members of Their Families
CRPD Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilit ies
OP-CRPD Optional Protocol to CRPD
CPED International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
3 Individual complaints: ICCPR-OP 1, art 1; OP-CEDAW, art. 1; OP-CRPD, art. 1; OP-ICESCR, art.
1; OP-CRC-IC, art.5; ICERD, art. 14; CAT, art. 22; ICRMW, a rt. 77; and CPED, art. 31. Inquiry
procedure: OP-CEDAW, art. 8; CAT, art. 20; CPED, art . 33; OP-CRPD, art. 6; OP-ICESCR, art. 11;
and OP-CRC-IC, art. 13. Inter-State complaints: ICCPR, a rt. 41; ICRMW, art. 76; CPED, art. 32;
CAT, art. 21; OP-ICESCR, art. 10; and OP-CRC-IC, art. 12. Urgent action: CPED, art. 30.
4 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficki ng in Persons, Especially Women and Children,
supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
5 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
6 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condi tion of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces
in the Field (First Convention); Geneva Convention f or the Amelioration of the Condition of
Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forc es at Sea (Second Convention); Geneva
Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Convention); Geneva Convention
relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Ti me of War (Fourth Convention); Protocol
Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 19 49, and relating to the Protection of Victims of
International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I); Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12
August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Vict ims of Non-International Armed Conflicts
(Protocol II). For the official status of ratificat ions, see Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of
Switzerland, at www.eda.admin.ch/eda/fr/home/topics /intla/intrea/chdep/warvic.html.
7 International Labour Organization Convention No. 29 concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour;
Convention No. 105 concerning the Abolition of Force d Labour; Convention No. 87 concerning
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right t o Organise; Convention No. 98 concerning the
Application of the Principles of the Right to Organi se and to Bargain Collectively; Convention No.
100 concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value;
Convention No. 111 concerning Discrimination in Respe ct of Employment and Occupation.
8 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateles s Persons and 1961 Convention on the Reduction of
9 International Labour Organization Convention No. 18 2 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate
Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Chi ld Labour.
10 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an
Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III).
11 International Labour Organization Convention No. 13 8 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to
12 International Labour Organization Convention No.169 , concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in
Independent Countries and Convention No.189 concerni ng Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
13 Concluding observations of the Committee on Economi c, Social and Cultural Rights
(E/C.12/TKM/CO/1), paras. 31-32; concluding observati ons of the Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination (CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7), para. 26; con cluding observations of the Committee
against Torture (CAT/C/TKM/CO/1), para. 27, and conclu ding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/ TKM/CO/3-4), para. 46.
14 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 12.
15 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 29.
16 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 26.
17 UNESCO, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, para. 26.
18 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 5; CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 4; CCPR/ C/TKM/CO/1, para. 3; and
CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 4, 38 and 39. See also CEDAW /C/TKM/CO/3-4, paragraphs. 24,
30, 32 and 33.
19 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, p. 1.
20 A/HRC/10/8/Add.4, paras. 63-65.
21 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 12.
22 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 12 and CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 1 6.
23 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 12; CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 17; CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 7;
CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 24 and E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 7 .
24 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, pp. 2-3 .
25 Ibid., p.3.
26 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 15.
27 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 6.
28 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 12-13.
29 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 7.
30 ILO, Report of the Committee of Experts on the Appli cation of Conventions and Recommendations,
General Report and observations concerning particula r countries, International Labour Conference,
101st Session, 2012, ILC.101/III1A, p. 967, availabl e at http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—
ed_norm/—relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_1 74843.pdf .
31 The following abbreviations have been used for thi s document:
CERD Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discriminat ion
CESCR Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
HR Committee Human Rights Committee
CEDAW Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
CAT Committee against Torture
CRC Committee on the Rights of the Child
CRPD Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabiliti es
32 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter II, section A, p. 3.
33 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 32.
34 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 24.
36 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 48.
37 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 29.
39 CCPR/C/93/D/1450/2006; CCPR/C/96/D/1460/2006, and CCPR/C/1 00/D/1530/2006.
40 Human Rights Committee, Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-six th session, Supplement
No. 40 (A/66/40),Vol. II, Part Two), p. 113.
41 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 5.
42 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 21.
43 For the titles of special procedures, see: www.ohc hr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Themes.aspx and
44 Action taken since the previous review.
45 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 14.
46 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter II, section C, p. 4.
47 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 12-13.
48 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 12.
49 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 8.
50 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 33.
51 Ibid., para. 21.
52 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section A, p. 4.
53 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 18-19.
54 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 10.
55 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 20.
56 Ibid., para. 8.
57 Ibid., para. 16.
58 Ibid., para. 12.
59 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 8.
60 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 22.
61 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 14.
62 Ibid., paras. 17-18.
63 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 21.
64 A/HRC/13/31, para. 579.
65 A/HRC/19/58, para. 655.
66 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 15.
67 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 10.
68 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 16.
69 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 6. See also CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, paragr aphs 9 and 18.
70 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 14.
71 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 9.
72 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 18.
73 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 37.
74 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, p. 1.
75 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 19.
76 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, p. 3.
77 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 22.
78 A/HRC/16/47/Add.1, para. 24. 79 Ibid., pp. 85-86, paras. 28-29.
80 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 13 (d).
81 Ibid., para. 15.
82 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 10.
83 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 9.
84 Ibid., para. 17.
85 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 22.
86 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 16.
87 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 23. See also E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, paragraph 16.
88 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section B, pp. 4-5.
89 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 20.
90 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section G, p. 5.
91 Ibid., p. 1.
92 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 25.
93 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 17.
94 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 11.
95 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, recomme ndation, section on combating human
trafficking, p. 9. See also chapter III, section B, page 5.
96 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 10.
97 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 13.
98 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 14. See also CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, paragr aph 20.
99 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 6. See also CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, paragr aphs 9 and 18.
100 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 11 (b).
101 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, p. 1.
102 A/HRC/10/8/Add.4, para. 69.
103 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 21.
104 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 22. See also CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, p aragraph 23.
105 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 10-11.
106 UNCT, submission for the UPR of Turkmenistan, chapt er I, section on other national plans and policy
measures, p. 3.
107 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section C, p. 5,
108 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, recomme ndations, section on strengthening juvenile
justice system, p. 9.
109 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 19.
110 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 38.
111 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section D, p.5.
112 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 18.
113 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 21.
114 Ibid., para. 12.
115 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 9. See also UNCT, submission t o the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III,
section E, page 5.
116 A/HRC/10/8/Add.4, para. 52.
117 Ibid., p.2.
118 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 30.
119 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 17.
120 A/HRC/10/8/Add.4, para. 35. See also recommendations at paragraph. 67.
121 A/HRC/10/8/Add.4, para.66.
122 A/HRC/16/53/Add.1, paras. 384-388.
123 A/HRC/10/8/Add.4, para.68; A/HRC/16/53/Add.1, para. 39 1.
124 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 16.
125 UNESCO, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, para. 25.
126 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 13.
127 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 18.
128 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 13.
129 A/HRC/17/27/Add.1, para. 2210.
130 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section K, p. 7.
131 UNESCO, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, para. 22.
132 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 18.
133 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 25.
134 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 29.
135 UNESCO, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, paras . 29-32.
136 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 28-29.
137 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 19.
138 Ibid., para. 18.
139 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section F, p. 5.
140 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 19.
141 CCPR/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 8.
142 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 26-27.
143 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 13.
144 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 32-33.
145 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 14.
146 Ibid., para. 11.
147 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section H, p. 6.
148 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 20.
149 Ibid., para. 21.
150 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter I, section on other national plans and policy
measures, p. 3.
151 Ibid., chapter III, section I, p. 6.
152 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, paras. 34-35. See also, E/C.12/TK M/CO/1, paragraph 22.
153 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 34.
154 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section I, pp. 6-7. 155 Ibid., recommendations, sections on public health and childhood development and health, p. 8.
156 UNESCO, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, para. 8.
157 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section J, p. 7.
158 E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, para. 25.
159 CEDAW/C/TKM/CO/3-4, para. 31.
160 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, chapter III, section L, p. 7.
161 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, recomm endations, section on disability rights and
social inclusion, p. 9. See also E/C.12/TKM/CO/1, par agraph 15.
162 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, paras. 10 and 24.
163 UNHCR, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, pp.2-3.
164 CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7, para. 6.
165 UNCT, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, section on support to refugees and reduction of
statelessness, p. 10, recommendations 11 and 12. Se e also, CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, paragraph 23(e).
166 UNHCR, submission to the UPR on Turkmenistan, recomme ndations section, p. 4.
167 CAT/C/TKM/CO/1, para. 23.