Last updated: 24 November 2023


On October 4, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Regulation “On Procedure on Coordination of Receipt of Financial and Other Assets from External Sources by Non-governmental Non-commercial Organizations and On the Procedure on Implementation of Projects Financed from External Sources, on the Territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan” (“Regulation #527”). Regulation #527 establishes a procedure for the registration of foreign grants received by Uzbek non-governmental, non-commercial organizations (NNOs) and for the implementation of activities funded under these foreign grants. Generally, Regulation #527 is an improvement over the previously existing Regulations #328 and #858 because it simplifies the registration procedure for foreign grants. Please see the “Barriers to Resources” section below for additional details.


After Uzbekistan became an independent republic in 1991, civil society slowly began to develop. As with other former Soviet countries, the legal framework is based on the civil law tradition, and legislation governing NGOs generally includes statements of support and protection for NGOs. Nonetheless, more than 25 years after independence, civil society does not yet play a vibrant role in the country. The government has tended to view the civic sector with suspicion. Indeed, most foreign and international NGOs which had operated in the country during the 1990s and early 2000s have since been closed and expelled from the country. In 2005, the government mandated a process of re-registration for NGOs, which led to a significant reduction in the number of NGOs in the country. In 2013 a number of organizations were also reportedly subject to a new wave of inspections by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and tax authorities. Legislative trends under former President Islam Karimov were generally restrictive.

The country’s first president after the Karimov era, Shavkat Mirziyoev, assumed power in September 2016 and has thus far adopted a number of initiatives that address the activities of CSOs.

First, he approved the main strategic document, the Action Strategy on Five Priority Areas of the Country’s Development for 2017-2021 (the “Action Strategy”) (Russian) (Uzbek) on February 7, 2017. It emphasized improvement to state management and services, comprehensive judicial and legal system reforms, economic liberalization and financial reforms, optimizing and improving social service provision, among other issues. The document mentions CSOs and stresses that further development of civil society institutions is necessary.

Subsequently, on May 4, 2018, the President of Uzbekistan adopted a decree On Measures to Fundamentally Enhance the Role of Civil Society Institutions in the Process of Democratic Renewal of the Country (“Decree”). The Decree substantially improved regulatory environment for civil society organizations (CSOs) in Uzbekistan. Specifically:

  • CSOs will no longer be required to obtain approval from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in order to conduct events. They will only be required to notify the MoJ of plans to conduct such events.
  • CSOs will be permitted to receive grants from foreign sources to accounts opened with any bank. Previously, CSOs were permitted to receive grants only to accounts opened with  state-owned banks Asaka and the National Bank on External Economic Activity.
  • CSOs will be able to use funds and assets received from foreign sources for statutory purposes, after receipt of approval from the MoJ. This change abolishes the previous procedure, which was excessively complex and burdensome.
  • The rate for social tax for CSOs that generate income from non-entrepreneurial activities will be limited to 15%.

The Decree also contained other important initiatives related to introducing proposals on revision and substantial reduction of administrative penalties for violations of legislation related to CSO activities, developing a procedure on monitoring and studying the CSOs’ activities, simplifying CSO reporting requirements, establishing public funds for local government support of CSOs, establishing “Houses of NNOs,” and establishing an Advisory Council on the Development of Civil Society under the President of Uzbekistan. All of the above initiatives have been implemented–although some of them insufficiently. Overall, they improved the operating environment for CSOs in Uzbekistan. For instance, Uzbekistan registered 320 more NNOs in 2020 than in 2017. Additional details about some of the initiatives are included below.

Following adoption of the Decree, the MoJ issued an order on June 1, 2018, that established the Regulation on the Procedure for Informing about Planned Activities of NNOs and replaced the prior Regulation on Procedure of Coordination of NNOs’ Activities of June 4, 2015. According to a summary posted on

  • NGOs are no longer required to obtain approval from the MoJ in order to conduct events, but still need to notify the MoJ of plans to conduct such events;
  • The minimum period for informing the justice body of planned activities is reduced to 10 days before the start of event without the participation of foreign citizens and 20 days before the start of event with the participation of foreign citizens; and
  • Justice bodies will only provide NGOs with written notice in case of a refusal to conduct the event.

In 2018, the MoJ issued an order that establishes a new form of annual reporting on the activities of NNOs for submission to the justice bodies, and the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the Decree on Approval of Regulating the Procedures for Monitoring and Studying the Activities of NNOs by the Justice Bodies. Within the framework of the procedures for monitoring and studying the NNO activities, justice bodies can check NNOs’ compliance with legislation and their founding documents and see if they use the budgeted funds as stipulated. The Decree establishes strict rules and terms for studying NNO activity (for example, a 30 day period of study, and 10 days written notification to NNOs of the start of the study).

On December 2, 2019, the President of Uzbekistan signed the new Law on Voluntary Activity, in order to define the legal bases for voluntary activity. Previously, Uzbekistani legislation did not include such terms as “volunteer” and “voluntary activity.” The law also further distinguishes between forced labor and voluntary activity benefiting public causes, clarifies that compensation of certain expenses associated with voluntary work is permitted, and provides volunteers with the right to obtain insurance from an an activity’s organizer. At the same time, the law establishes new requirements for all participants of voluntary activities.

On March 3, 2021, the President of Uzbekistan issued an Order on Additional Measures for State Support of NNOs Ensuring the Freedom of Their Activities, Protection of Rights and Legitimate Interests, which introduced a number of changes aimed to improve the legal environment for NNOs. For instance, the Order increased the total amount of foreign funding NNOs may receive on an annual basis; reduced the term for re-registration of an NNO, as well as the state registration of its symbols from one month to 15 days; mandated the development of a draft law that introduces administrative liability for interference of state bodies and other officials into the legitimate work of NNOs (the draft was developed in 2021 but was not adopted yet) and other important initiatives enhancing NNOs activity.

Оn March 4, 2021, the President of Uzbekistan issued a Decree approving the Concept paper on Development of Civil Society in 2021-2025 (the Concept) and the Road Map on Implementation of the Concept (the Roadmap) (jointly referred to as the “package”). The Concept and the Road Map envision improvements to the legal framework for civil society, partnerships between NNOs and government, and state support for NNOs’ activities, among other issues. On May 6, 2023, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 192 “On measures to implement the Concept for the Development of Civil Society in 2023 and 2024” was adopted. The Resolution approved a “Roadmap” of 26 measures that seek to do a number of things: improve the legal framework for the development of civil society, increase state support for CSOs, ensure CSO transparency, revise the Law on Social Partnership by expanding the scope of social partnership and introducing mechanisms for social partnership subjects’ (i.e., state bodies’ and CSOs’) accountability to society, establish an electronic platform for organizing grants from the Public Foundation for the Support of NNOs, improve incentive mechanisms for NNOs that have high ratings on the Transparency Standard for NNOs, and implement FATF recommendations on the NPO sector.

On April 20, 2021, the President of Uzbekistan signed a new Law on Normative Legal Acts (NLAs). The law provides citizens with the right to adopt NLAs through referenda held according to the Law on Referendum. The Law on NLAs envisions that all draft laws and regulations will pass through a public discussion process, which is initiated by posting a draft NLA on the portal for discussion of draft NLAs prior to submission to the body authorized for adoption of NLAs. Overall, the initiative has the potential to enhance public discussion of legislative initiatives, strengthen citizen participation in lawmaking, and ensure government accountability for making laws and regulations accessible to the public.

On June 16, 2021, the President of Uzbekistan issued a Decree on additional measures to ensure the openness of activities of state bodies and organizations and improve implementation of public control. The President approved the “List of Socially Significant Information” to be posted on the Open Data portal and websites as open data by all state authorities and administration, including the Accounts Chamber, the Central Bank, courts and prosecutors, as well as organizations with public participation. The President also approved the roadmap for further increasing the level of openness in the activities of state bodies and organizations. In August 2022, these measures were further enhanced through subsequent legislative amendments that established administrative liability for violating the Law on “The Openness of the Activities of Public Authorities and Administration.” For instance, the non-publication or incomplete publication of information included in the List of Socially Significant Information and failure to comply with the terms and procedure for publication or distortion of data results in a fine, including on state officials, from 3 to 5 BCVs ($83- $139). For the same offense committed repeatedly within a year after the application of an administrative penalty, the fine increases to 5 to 10 BCVs ($139 – $277).

On January 28, 2022, Uzbekistan adopted a new “Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026” and the road map for its implementation. The Development Strategy consists of seven priority areas and is based on the election program of President Mirziyoyev. The objectives of the Strategy directly related to civil society include:

  • Improving the practice of holding consultations with civil society institutions in the process of lawmaking;
  • Increasing the efficiency of social partnerships, including doubling the amount of state support for NNOs in the form of subsidies, grants, and social orders; and
  • Developing modern forms of exercising public control and wider involvement of subjects of public control in the process of exercising certain state functions, among other provisions.

A year and a half later, on July 31, 2023, the government also published its draft strategy “Uzbekistan 2030,” which has over 100 goals and is expected to cost $252.2 billion to implement. One of the goals (#83) is devoted to civil society, including to further development of a free civil society and media activities, thereby turning Uzbekistan into a hub for civil society development. As part of the implementation of this goal, the government plans to at least double the amount of state funding for CSOs’ socially significant projects and programs, to triple the number of implemented projects within the social partnership framework, to bring the number of NNOs participating in state programs to at least 80, and to organize retraining and advanced training for at least 500 heads of NNOs.  A separate action plan will be approved each year to implement the strategy. The discussion of the draft strategy lasted until August 15, 2023.

Organizational Forms Non-Governmental Non-commercial Organizations (NNOs), which include public associations, public funds, institutions, and associations of NGOs
Registration Body Ministry of Justice
Approximate Number According to the online register of NNOs and their branches on the MoJ’s website “Portal of NNOs” ( there are 11,022 registered NNOs, including 5,207 branches and representative offices. 488 NNOs have been registered since the beginning of 2023.
Barriers to Entry (1) Mandatory registration; unregistered group activities prohibited;
(2) Detailed documentation requirements, and potentially burdensome registration fee;
(3) Vague grounds for denial of registration;
(4) The registration application, at the discretion of registration bodies, can be sent for “expertise” to other government bodies, which prolongs the registration process beyond the one month allowed for by law for consideration of the registration application (there is no clear statement in the regulations that the term for consideration of the application should be not more than one month); and
(5) Excessive time delays in government review of registration applications.
Barriers to Activities (1) Burdensome and vague reporting requirements;
(2) NGO obligation to ensure governmental access to all activities;
(3) Advance governmental approval required for particular NNO activities;
(4) Harsh sanctions for violation of law.
Despite some improvements in the NNO legislation, some requirements restricting the activities of NNOs remain unchanged, including notification to the justice authorities about NNOs’ planned events; submission to the justice authorities of an annual report on activities; requirement for NNOs to obtain a confirmation of concurrence to receive foreign aid exceeding $470 per year from the MoJ; and requirement for accreditation of NNO employees who are foreign citizens, as well as their dependent family members.
Barriers to Speech and/or Advocacy In practice, the Government may act against NNOs that engage in certain kinds of advocacy activity.
Barriers to International Contact (1) Advance governmental approval required for conferences, international participants, etc.;
(2) Limited access to certain websites.
Barriers to Resources Limits on foreign funding
Barriers to Assembly Regulations vague or nonexistent; severe punishments and the threat of use of force deter protests.
Population 31,360,836 (2023 est.)
Capital Tashkent
Type of Government Presidential republic; highly authoritarian
Life Expectancy at Birth Male: 72.54 years
Female: 78.74 years (2023 est.)
Literacy Rate Male: 100%
Female: 100% (2019)
Religious Groups Muslim: 88% (mostly Sunni), Eastern Orthodox: 9%, other: 3%
Ethnic Groups Uzbek 83.8%, Tajik 4.8%, Kazakh 2.5%, Russian 2.3%, Karakalpak 2.2%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.9% (2017 est.)
GDP per capita $7,700 (2021 est.)

Source: The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency.

Ranking Body Rank Ranking Scale
(best – worst possible)
UN Human Development Index 101 (2023) 1 – 191
World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 78 (2022) 1 – 140
Transparency International 126 (2022) 1 – 180
Foreign Policy: Fragile States Index 95 (2023) 179 – 1
Freedom House: Freedom in the World Status: Not Free (12)
Political Rights: 2
Civil Liberties: 10
1 – 40
1 – 60

International and Regional Human Rights Agreements

Key International Agreements Ratification* Year
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Yes 1995
Optional Protocol to ICCPR (ICCPR-OP1) Yes 1995
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Yes 1995
Optional Protocol to ICESCR (OP-ICESCR) No  —
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) Yes 1995
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Yes 1995
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women No  —
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Yes 1994
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW) No  —
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Yes 2021
International Labor Organization’s The Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention Yes 2016
Regional Treaties
CIS Agreement on joint activity in relation to foreign humanitarian aid Yes 1993

* Category includes ratification, accession, or succession to the treaty

Constitutional Framework

Uzbekistan adopted a new version of its constitution by nationwide referendum on April 30, 2023.  It came into force on May 1, 2023.

Relevant constitutional provisions include:

  • Article 15. The Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall have absolute supremacy in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall have the supreme legal force and direct effect, and constitute the basis of the single legal space on the entire territory of the country. International treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan, along with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law, shall be an integral part of the legal system of the Republic of Uzbekistan. If an international treaty of the Republic of Uzbekistan establishes other rules than those stipulated by the law of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the rules of the international treaty of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall apply.
  • Article 16. None of the provisions of the present Constitution may be interpreted in a way detrimental to the rights and interests of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the basic principles and norms stipulated in section one of this Constitution. Laws and other normative legal acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be adopted on the basis of and in fulfillment of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. None of the laws or other normative legal acts may run counter to the norms and principles of the Constitution
  • Article 20. A citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the state shall be bound by mutual rights and duties. The human rights and freedoms, established by the Constitution and the laws, shall be inalienable, and no one shall have the right to deprive or limit them without a court decision. The human rights and freedoms shall be directly applicable. The human rights and freedoms shall determine the essence and content of laws, the activities of state and self-government bodies and their officials. The measures of legal influence on the individual applied by state bodies must be based on the principle of proportionality and be sufficient to achieve the goals provided by laws. All contradictions and ambiguities in the legislation, which arise in the relationship between a person and state bodies, shall be interpreted in favor of the person.
  • Article 21. Every person has the right to the free development of his or her personality. No one shall be subjected to an obligation not established by law without his or her consent. The exercise of rights and freedoms by a person must not encroach on the lawful interests, rights and freedoms of other persons, the state or society. The human rights and freedoms may be limited only in accordance with the law, and only to the extent necessary to protect the constitutional order, public health, public morality, the rights and freedoms of other persons, to ensure public safety and public order.
  • Article 33. Everyone shall be guaranteed freedom of thought, speech and convictions. Everyone shall have the right to seek, obtain and disseminate any information. The State shall create conditions for providing access to the worldwide information network Internet. Restrictions of the right to seek, obtain and disseminate information shall be allowed only in accordance with the law and only to the extent necessary to protect the constitutional order, public health, public morality, the rights and freedoms of others, to ensure public safety and public order, as well as preventing the disclosure of state secrets or other legally protected secrets.
  • Article 34. The State bodies, organizations, citizens’ self-governing bodies and their officials shall allow everyone access to documents, resolutions and other materials, relating to their rights and legitimate interests.
  • Article 36. All citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall have the right to participate in the management and administration of public and state affairs, both directly and through representation. They may exercise this right by way of self-government, referendums and democratic formation of state bodies, as well as public control over activities of state bodies. The procedure of public control over activities of state bodies shall be defined by law.
  • Article 38. Citizens have the right to carry out their public activity in the form of rallies, meetings and demonstrations in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The authorities have the right to suspend or prohibit these events only for justified security reasons.
  • Article 39. Citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall have the right to form trade unions, political parties and any other public associations, and to participate in mass movements. No one may infringe on the rights, freedoms and dignity of the individuals, constituting the minority opposition in political parties, public associations and mass movements, as well as in representative bodies of authority.
  • Article 69. Institutions of civil society including public associations and other non-governmental nonprofit organizations, bodies of self-government of citizens, and the mass media shall form the basis of civil society. The activity of civil society institutions shall be conducted In accordance with the law.
  • Article 70. In the Republic of Uzbekistan, public associations are recognized as trade unions, political parties, scientific societies, women’s, veterans’ and youth leagues and persons with disabilities, professional associations, mass movements and other organizations of citizens. Dissolution, prohibition or restriction of the activity of public associations may take place only on the basis of a court decision.
  • Article 71. The formation and functioning of political parties and other non-profit non-governmental organizations, aiming to do the following, shall be prohibited: changing the existing constitutional system by force, coming out against state sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Uzbekistan, advocating war and social, national, racial and religious hostility, or encroaching on the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, encroaching on the health and morality of the people, as well as armed associations and political parties based on the national and religious principles. Secret societies and associations shall be banned.
  • Article 72. The state shall safeguard the rights and lawful interests of non-governmental non-profit organizations, and provide them with equal legal possibilities for participating in public life. Interference by state bodies and officials in the activity of non-governmental non-profit organizations, as well as interference by non-governmental non-profit organizations in the activities of state bodies and officials, shall be impermissible.
  • Article 73. Trade unions express and protect the social and economic rights and interests of workers. Membership in trade unions is voluntary.
  • Article 74. Political parties shall express the political will of various sections and groups of the population, and through their democratically elected representatives shall participate in the formation of state authority. Political parties, in accordance with the established procedure, shall submit to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan or to the body authorized by it, public reports on the sources of financing their activity.
  • Article 75. Religious organizations and associations shall be separated from the state and equal before law. The state shall not interfere in the activity of religious organizations. The State shall guarantee the freedom of activities of religious organizations functioning by the procedure prescribed by the law.

National Laws and Regulations Affecting Sector

Relevant national-level laws and regulations affecting civil society include:

Pending NGO Legislative / Regulatory Initiatives

1. On July 18, 2023, the government invited public comments on a draft resolution to establish a new registration procedure for Uzbek CSOs receiving foreign grants. The GoUz proposed this draft resolution after Uzbek CSOs advocated for the repeal of the existing procedure for the registration of foreign grants under Resolution No. 328. If adopted, the draft resolution would improve the existing restrictive registration procedure for foreign grant recipients. However, the draft resolution itself remains restrictive. The public had the opportunity to submit their comments on it until August 2, 2023.

2. The presidential administration announced in March 2023 that it is considering a draft law on rallies and mass demonstrations.  The text of the draft is not publicly available. The Ministry of Internal Affairs published similar drafts in June 2019 and again in August 2020; however, it was never adopted.

While we aim to maintain information that is as current as possible, we realize that situations can rapidly change. If you are aware of any additional information, please keep us informed; write to ICNL at

Organizational Forms

The Civil Code defines a legal entity to include both commercial and non-commercial organizations and contains a list of permissible legal forms, including, among others, the public association, public fund, institution, legal entities’ associations (societies and unions), and citizens’ self-governance body.  Mirroring the language of the Civil Code, the Law on NGOs states that non-governmental, non-profit organizations may be established in the following forms: public association, public fund, institution, and other lawful forms provided by legal acts.  The Law on Public Associations is the primary law under which NGOs are established and operate.   In addition, NGOs may form associations or unions, with the purpose of coordination of their activities, and in order to represent and advocate common interests.  NGOs can be established for protecting the rights and lawful interests of natural persons and legal entities; for achieving social, cultural and educational aims; to satisfy spiritual and other non-material needs; and for realizing other public benefit purposes.  Founders of an NGO must detail the organizational purposes in the charter of the NGO.

public association is a voluntary association of citizens (natural persons only) who have joined together for the realization of their common interests in the areas of politics, economics, social development, science, culture, ecology, and other aspects of life (Article 1, the Law “On public associations” and Article 11, the Law “On NGOs”).

public fund is recognized as a non-membership organization, founded by natural and/or legal persons on the basis of voluntary property contributions, pursuing charitable, social, cultural, educational, or other public benefit purposes (Article 12, the Law “On NGOs” and Article 3, the Law “On Public funds”).

An institution is recognized as an organization established by natural and/or legal persons in order to realize social, cultural and other functions of non-profit nature (Article 13, the Law “On NGOs”).  Notably, the legal form of “institution” is a legacy of the Soviet legal system.  There are no existing procedural rules in place to establish and register an institution; in practice, therefore, this form is essentially non-existent.

The association (union) of NGOs is a legal entity whose founding members are legal persons (NGOs).  It is not possible to establish an association made up of both natural and legal entities simultaneously.  Members of associations (unions) have secondary (vicarious) liability on obligations of the overarching association (union); the degree of liability is based on the charter of the association (union).

citizens’ self-governance body (more commonly known as “mahalla”) is a traditional form of neighborhood organization. The activities of the “mahalla” are governed by the Law “On self-governance bodies”.

Uzbek law also categorizes NGOs according to the territorial scope of their activity: international NGOs, which can operate not only in Uzbekistan, but in other countries; republican or inter-regional NGOs, which can operate in several regions of Uzbekistan or throughout the country; and local NGOs, which can operate only in one region or in Tashkent city.

Public Benefit Status

Uzbek law provides for a “charitable organization” status, but it is not linked to fiscal benefits. Instead, all registered NNOs are exempt under tax law from certain taxes and financial obligations. Details follow.

(1) A charitable organization is a non-governmental, non-commercial organization established for the purpose of implementing philanthropic activities in the interest of the public at large as well as in the interest of specific categories of legal entities and physical persons (Article 3 of the Law “On charity”). Charitable organizations may be created in the form of a public association, foundation or in any other form stipulated by legislative acts (Article 6 of the Law “On charity”). Significantly, however, there are no tax or fiscal benefits linked to charitable organization status. Article 14 of the Law “On Charity” declares that government can provide support (e.g., discount on rent, if the accommodation or other property is owned by government; transfer government property to charitable organizations, and so on) to charitable organizations. But there is no legal obligation to provide concrete benefits to charitable organizations.

(2) According to Article 58 of the Tax Code, the term non-commercial organization includes all legal entities that do not seek to gain profit as the main purpose of their activities and do not distribute income (profits) among their members. Through registration, NNOs accrue rights as a legal entity and the status of a non-commercial organization. All non-commercial organizations, irrespective of their organizational legal form, are exempt from the following taxes:

  • corporate income (profit) tax, except where NNOs carry out commercial activities (Article 318 of the Tax Code);
  • corporate property tax (Article 411 of the Tax Code);
  • land tax (Article 426 of the Tax Code); and
  • tax on use of water resources (Article 442 of the Tax Code).

The foregoing fiscal privileges do not generally apply to income generated through the commercial activity of NNOs. Certain categories of NNOs are exempt from several compulsory payments and taxes, even where the NNO carries out economic activity through a corporate subsidiary. For example, enterprises owned by public associations of disabled persons are exempt from VAT and corporate income (profit) tax (Article 243 and 337 of the Tax Code) if “goods and services of their own production, sold by legal entities, the only participants of which are public associations of persons with disabilities, in the total number of which persons with disabilities account for at least 50 percent, and the salary fund for persons with disabilities is at least 50 percent of the total wages fund.”

Public Participation

The Uzbek Constitution addresses public participation. Specifically, Article 36 provides that “All citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall have the right to participate in the management and administration of public and state affairs, both directly and through representation. They may exercise this right by way of self-government, referendums and democratic formation of state bodies, as well as public control over activities of state bodies. The procedure of public control over activities of state bodies shall be defined by law.”

The 1991 Referendum Law, as last amended in May 2023, defines a referendum as a nationwide vote of citizens on the most important issues of public and state life in order to adopt laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other decisions.  However, the law sets onerous criteria by requiring the signatures of at least 5% of all citizens entitled to participate in the referendum, subject to their equal and proportional distribution in each administrative-territorial entity; and restricts collecting signatures online.

The 2014 Law on Social Partnership addresses the mechanisms for government – civil society interaction. Under the Law, CSOs have the right to (1) participate in development initiatives; (2) participate in public discussion and examination of development proposals; (3) submit proposals to state bodies for conducting joint events; and (4) monitor the implementation of development programs.

The 2018 Law on Public Control authorizes monitoring of the activities of state bodies and institutions by citizens, NGOs, public councils, and the media. Monitoring methods include applications and inquiries to state bodies; participation in open collegial meetings of state bodies; public hearings and public monitoring; public expert evaluations; and public opinion research. Information, recommendations, and proposals are then to be considered by state bodies.

The 2021 Law on Regulations provides that all draft laws and regulations will pass through public or professional discussion and sets forth the procedure for holding a public discussion. The law also enshrines the right of citizens, self-governing bodies, NGOs, and the media to monitor the implementation of laws and legal measures, in accordance with the Law on Public Control and other laws.

On March 4, 2021, the President of Uzbekistan issued a decree approving the Concept on Development of Civil Society in 2021-2025 (the Concept) and the Road Map on Implementation of the Concept. The Concept sets conditions for CSOs’ active participation in public governance and envisions increased CSO participation in the implementation of state social projects. It sets a range of targets, such as increasing the percentage of NGO representative membership in public councils (consultative bodies under the auspices of state bodies at national and local levels) to 5% in 2021 and to 25% in 2025.

On April 13, 2021, the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Additional Measures to Ensure Citizens’ Participation in the Budget Process was adopted. In accordance with this decree, 5% of approved total budget expenditures must be allocated to finance activities based on public opinion starting from May 2021.

In addition, the government has introduced, by presidential decree, the office of a permanent NGO representative in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament). Moreover, interactive citizen services are being developed, such as the ‘virtual parlor’ of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev ( and the portal for discussions of draft normative legal acts (

In practice, however, despite the foregoing laws and initiatives, meaningful public participation is still a distant prospect. Government bodies are often unwilling to facilitate public participation. Due to the low level of legal literacy, Uzbek citizens are generally unaware of participation mechanisms and lack confidence in the government and its reforms.

Barriers to Entry

There are multiple legal barriers affecting the formation and registration of NNOs in Uzbekistan.

First, registration is mandatory and unregistered group activities are prohibited. An NNO is established only when officially registered (Article 15 of the Law “On NNOs”). Available sanctions for carrying out activities through an unregistered organization include a fine of 15-30 basic calculated values (BCVs), or $378-$756, according to Article 239 of the Administrative Code. Active participation in unregistered (i.e., illegal) organizations exposes offenders to a fine of 50 BCVs ($1,260-$2,520) or restriction of freedom from two to five years or imprisonment of up to five years (Article 216 of the Criminal Code).

Second, the registration requirements, which vary according to the organizational form, are more demanding than the registration requirements for commercial organizations. Required documentation is quite detailed.

From January 1, 2020, the state fee for state registration has been reduced:

  • republican, interregional non-governmental non-profit organizations – from 4 to 3 BCVs;
  • regional NNOs – from 2 to 1 BCVs;
  • NNOs, whose activities cover the territory of a district (city), settlement, kishlak and aul – from 2 BCVs to 50% of BCVs.

The size of the state fee for state registration of international NNOs in Uzbekistan, representative offices and branches of international and foreign NNOs has not changed – 12.5 BCVs.

No fee is required for registration of branches of local NNOs. Organizations of people with disabilities, veterans, women’s organizations, and youth organizations pay half of the registration fee.

From March 1, 2021, the state fee and registration deadlines were revised as follows:

  • NNOs operating on the territory of the region, district, city, village, village and aul became ‘territorial’ NNOs, and the state registration fee for such NNOs is 50 percent of BCVs (namely, the rate of state registration fee for regional NNO was 1 BCVs, and from March 2021 it has become 50% of the BCVs; for other types of NNOs the rate of state registration fee has not changed).
  • the period for re-registration of NNOs, as well as state registration of its symbols is reduced from one month to 15 days
  • for state registration (re-registration) of symbols of public associations of persons with disabilities, veterans, senior citizens, women, children, the state fee is not charged
  • a separate subdivision of an NNO (branches) has become a legal entity.

Third, the registration application, at the discretion of registration bodies, can be sent for “expertise” to relevant organizations. The list of such organizations is not provided, and the exact dates of approval, and the minutes of their meetings / negotiations, if they took place, are never provided to the registering initiative groups.

Fourth, the grounds for denial of registration may invite the exercise of excessive government discretion. Specifically, the law allows for denial where the name or symbols of an NNO encroaches on “morality, national or religious feelings of citizens”.

In September 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee held in the case of Kungurov v. Uzbekistan that the procedure in Uzbekistan for registering the non-governmental organization “Democracy and Rights” violated both the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of association, under Articles 19 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, respectively.

For more information, please see the statement from Article 19.

Barriers to Operational Activity

NNOs are subject to burdensome reporting requirements. According to Article 33 of the Law on NNOs, NNOs must maintain records of the results of their activities, and must submit reports to the registration authorities (Ministry of Justice and its departments), to the statistical authorities, and to the tax authorities. All NNOs are subject to the same detailed reporting standard; there is no simplified reporting form available for small and medium-sized NNOs. The frequency of reporting varies with the category of report; some are required on a monthly basis, some on a quarterly basis, and others on an annual basis.

In January 2010 NNOs in Tashkent were notified by the MoJ of a new reporting form, which contains 58 questions and should be submitted on a quarterly basis. Now NNOs submit such report annually and the report became more simple than previous ones.

According to Article 8 of the Law on NNOs, NNOs are obliged to provide access to information on the use of organizational property and financial assets. In addition, NNOs must ensure that the MoJ has access to all their activities.

The law requires that NNOs inform the Ministry of Justice for particular activities in advance. This problem is exacerbated by the harsh sanctions available in case of violation of the rule, including specifically events conducted by NNOs (except for political parties) and their representative offices and branches without the consent of the registering body. Event held by NNOs entails fines from 30 to 50 BCVs when access is not granted by the representative body.

Severe sanctions are also available for the failure to submit reports, for the late submission of reports, for the submission of reports in the wrong form, for the submission of knowingly inaccurate information about their activities, as well as for non-submission by NNOs of information, including supporting documents on their use of property and funds. Article 239 of the Administrative Code, applicable to NNOs, provides for a fine on officials from 15 to 30 BCVs.

On April 25, 2016, the government adopted a Law on Introduction of Amendments to Some Legislative Acts, which introduced amendments to the Law on Non-Governmental Non-Commercial Organizations (Law on NNOs), the Law on Public Foundations, the Law on Bank Secrecy, the Law on Charity, and the Code of Administrative Liability. This new legislation represented a significant deterioration in the NNO legal environment because it introduced additional restrictions on activities, such as the requirement to notify the Ministry of Justice about upcoming trips of NNO representatives to foreign countries, and to obtain approval for the receipt of all funds and assets from foreign states, organizations, and citizens. From March 1, 2021, the total amount of funds and property received in one calendar year by non-governmental non-profit organizations from foreign sources, with the notification (for information) of the registering authority, will increase from twenty to one hundred basic calculated values.

Government-organized NNOs (GONNOs) may pose a potential threat to independent civil society in Uzbekistan, but it is not clear if GONNOs have actually had a negative impact on the NNO sector. There have been positive examples of cooperation between GONNOs and NNOs. In 2005, the National Association of NNOs of RUz (NANNOUz in Russian) was established. While clearly controlled by the Government, NANNOUz has done some good things for the NNO sector, by creating informational centers throughout the country for NNOs, and by providing small grants to NNOs. Admittedly, these small grants were awarded to the members of NANNOUz, but nonetheless this marked the first instance of government providing financial support to NNOs from the state budget. The small grants program and budgetary assistance for NNOs is now being extended on an annual basis.

Barriers to Speech / Advocacy

According to Uzbek law as written, there are generally no barriers restricting speech or advocacy activity in Uzbekistan; NGOs and individuals are both free, in theory, to criticize the Government, for example. In practice, however, there are constraints on speech and advocacy. NGOs engaging in human rights activity or government monitoring, for example, may be subject to harassment or even termination.  Because these measure are extra-legal (i.e., outside the law), they are unpredictable.

In addition, on March 30, 2021, the President signed new amendments to the Law on Informatization, Criminal Code, and Administrative Code (“the Law”). The amendments are related to the introduction of a new offense related to any public call to not fulfil or violate of Uzbek law, posing a threat to public order and public safety, including those carried out using the media, telecommunication networks, the internet, as well as print media. In general, the Law could significantly restrict freedom of expression for civil society, journalists, and others by prohibiting broad categories of speech, while also adding new obligations for website owners, including bloggers. The obligations for website owners and bloggers are: (a) to constantly monitor their websites and pages for prohibited content; and (b) to take immediate measures to restrict access to prohibited content. If website owners do not comply with these obligations, the Law makes clear that website owners are in violation of the Law and are liable for any damages. The Law also creates a right of redress for by individuals who believe their “rights” or “legitimate interests” have been affected to sue website owners for damages. These obligations, along with exposing website owners to liability while allowing anyone harmed to seek damages in court, are likely to result in censorship of speech in violation of international law. Website owners are ill equipped to undertake proper legal assessment, and therefore are likely to err on the side of caution and simply remove any content that could be deemed prohibited.

NGOs are affirmatively granted the right to participate in legislative activities, and “to exercise lawmaking initiative.” For example, some NGOs make seek engagement with Parliament and/or governmental bodies by preparing analyses of legislation or through conducting a conference to facilitate cross-sectoral dialogue on draft legislation.  In practice, however, few NGOs take advantage of this right.

Barriers to International Contact

Starting from June 1, 2018, it is no longer required to obtain the prior approval of the justice authorities to hold an event. However, NNOs must notify the relevant justice body in writing or electronically about an event within the following timeframes:

  • when planning an event on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan without the participation of a foreign citizen – at least 10 days before the day of the event; and
  • when planning an event on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the participation of a foreign citizen or on the territory of a foreign state – at least 20 days before the day of the event. In some cases, as prescribed in the regulations, it is enough to notify three days before an event.

Prior notification for organizing conferences and inviting international participants. The notification procedure is not much different from the former prior approval requirement, since the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) retains the right to request additional information no later than three days before a scheduled event and may decide to prohibit an NNO from holding an event based on the results of analyzing the submitted notification.

Despite the change to a notification procedure, the justice body analyzes information received about event, as well as the compliance of the event with legislation and the goals and objectives determined by the NNO’s charter or regulation. The MoJ has the right to request additional information, and, based on the results of the study, may decide to prohibit an NNO from conducting the event by notifying the NNO at least two days prior to the event.

In addition, all citizens seeking to work abroad must receive permission from the Ministry of Labor.

Access to certain websites is banned for all citizens. Indeed, on August 5, 2011, the Cabinet of Ministries passed a Resolution no.228 “On additional measures on development system of monitoring in sphere of mass communications”. According to this Resolution, an “expert commission” will be created to identify information that is exerting a negative social impact on the citizens of Uzbekistan and the source of that information. The “expert commission” can recommend closing any mass media outlet or prohibit the dissemination of any informational resource in Uzbekistan.

On September 5, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers issued a resolution aimed at improving information security on the internet. The resolution also approved intergovernmental procedures for restricting access to certain websites and (or) pages of websites.

Barriers to Resources

Resolution #328

In 2022, the process of receiving foreign funding became more complicated for NNOs.  On June 13, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Regulation on Coordination Between NNOs and Public Authorities in the Implementation of International Grant Projects, known as Regulation #328.  The Regulation establishes the procedure for coordination between local NNOs and public administration bodies (“national partners”) in the implementation of international grant projects using funds received from foreign governments, international and foreign organizations, citizens of foreign states, or from other persons on their behalf.  In brief, the Ministry of Justice appoints a public administration body for NNOs involved in each international grant project so that that the national partner provides practical assistance to an NNO grantee in implementing its grant project and is responsible for developing its implementation plan and monitoring its execution.

Article 48 of the Tax Code does not specify who can be a grant recipient, so it is unclear whether NNOs can be grant recipients. If NNOs can receive grants, then any property donated to NNOs by entities listed in Article 48 of the Tax Code (“property provided on a gratuitous basis . . . by states, governments of states, and international or foreign governmental or non-governmental organizations of the Republic of Uzbekistan” or “by foreign citizens and stateless persons of the Republic of Uzbekistan”) shall be recognized as funds for an international grant project. They would therefore\fall under the scope of Regulation #328. It is not clear whether the legislation on access to foreign funding remains in force.

While the participation of a national partner in an NNO’s grant project is mandatory, the right of the NNO to refuse such cooperation is not stipulated. Nor does Regulation #328 provide for any coordination and interaction with the granting organization. The donor’s role in the process is not clear. According to Regulation #328, the national partner assigned to the NNO has a wide range of powers, including to:

  • develop and approve a roadmap for the implementation of a grant project, which should present all project activities, the timeline and the implementation mechanism, as well as the project implementation territory;
  • ensure effective implementation of the grant project and monitoring and evaluation of activities;
  • address problems arising during the implementation of the grant project;
  • sign memoranda of mutual cooperation with government bodies and organizations within the framework of the grant project, as necessary;
  • make proposals for changes and additions to the grant project being implemented, as needed;
  • develop recommendations on the establishment and extension of the term of implementation of the grant project; and
  • analyze the results of the implementation of the grant project.

Regulation #328 stipulates that the national partner “shall be responsible for providing practical assistance to NNOs in its quality and timely implementation and monitoring of the results of the grant project, as well as for coordinating the work of partner organizations. However, the national partner “shall not interfere in the internal affairs of NNOs.” Regulation #328 does not provide for any independent procedure for resolving disputes between an NNO and its national partner. In addition, the Ministry of Justice can recommend that the national partner use a list of relevant ministries, agencies, and other entities to engage partner organizations. The national partner can also engage its own partner organizations in the implementation of an NNO grant project and will be responsible for the coordination of all partners involved.

The approval process for a grant project worth less than approximately 600 million soms (approximately $54,772) takes up to 18 business days, and up to 25 business days for grant projects above this amount. The approval process involves such bodies as the territorial bodies of justice, the Ministry of Justice, a national partner, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and, if the project amount exceeds this threshold, the Cabinet of Ministers as well.

In November 2022, the CSO initiative group made a collective appeal to cancel Resolution No. 328 of June 13, 2022 due to the fact that it contradicts national legislation and international standards that ensure the freedom of CSO activities. After the meeting of the initiative group with the leadership of the Ministry of Justice, a mutual decision was made to finalize this resolution, taking into account the proposals of representatives of civil society.

Draft Resolution of the CoM RUz on Measures for Further Support of Social Partnership and International Cooperation in the Implementation of Socially Beneficial Programs and Projects by NNOs (Draft Resolution)

On July 18, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) posted for public discussion the Draft Resolution of the CoM RUz on Measures for Further Support of Social Partnership and International Cooperation in the Implementation of Socially Beneficial Programs and Projects by NNOs (Draft Resolution). The Draft Resolution will repeal the Resolutions #852 and #328, and establish a new procedure for approval of funds and property acquired from foreign sources by Uzbekistani NNOs. When preparing a new resolution, the Ministry of Justice took into account the opinions of NGOs and civil activists and canceled a number of burdensome requirements. The Draft Resolution does a number of things to eliminate contradictions between Resolutions #852 and #328, simplify the procedure for approval of funds that NNOs receive from foreign sources in comparison to the current procedure under Resolution #328, and establish a new approval procedure:

  • It provides a threshold value of funds received from foreign sources (equivalent to approximately US$2,800 over one year), above which NNOs must obtain approval for the receipt of funds under a simplified procedure (under current Resolution #328, funds of any value are subject to a complicated approval procedure);
  • It more clearly prohibits state organizations participating in the project as a partner (“state organization-partner”) from interfering with or obstructing the charter activities of NNOs, prohibits giving assignments and tasks to NNOs not related to project implementation, requesting material incentives for participation in the project, among other provisions;
  • It provides a procedure for resolving disputes between the “state organizations-partners” and NNOs (specifically by authorizing the registration body, the Ministry of Justice, to resolve such disputes);
  • It eliminates the Ministry of Justice’s obligation to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on all approval decisions for the receipt of funds from foreign sources;
  • It provides NNOs with the discretion to decide whether to work with a “state organization-partner” when the value of funds received from foreign sources does not exceed the equivalent of US$28,000;
  • It substantially limits the duties of a “state organization-partner”;
  • It establishes automatic approval of an application for funds from foreign sources when the registering authority fails to comply with the procedure’s deadline for reviewing applications;
  • It establishes a step-by-step procedure for approval of the receipt of funds from foreign sources; and
  • It obliges the Ministry of Justice to place information on completed projects on the portal for public access.

Despite significant improvements over Resolution #328, the Procedure in the Draft Resolution could be further elaborated. In general, the Draft Resolution fails to ensure the implementation of standards established in Financial Action Task Force Recommendation 8 on non-profit organizations. The procedure for approving the receipt of funds from foreign sources remains complicated, and it is worth considering its complete repeal, which would align with the best international practice. The public discussion period has ended, but the final resolution has not been adopted yet.

Resolution on Measures of Improving Mechanisms of Attracting Means of External Gratuitous Contributions and on Work with Donors

Separately, the Resolution on Measures of Improving Mechanisms of Attracting Means of External Gratuitous Contributions and on Work with Donors dated October 14, 2019 primarily enables government agencies to work with international donors and establishes rules for how government agencies may engage with international donors. The Resolution identifies the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade as the government body in charge of attracting and managing use of foreign grants and managing relationships with foreign donors. The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade will play the determining role in defining programs on attracting assets of external gratuitous support and cooperation with donors. Through the Resolution, government bodies receive the authority to attract grants of $100,000 or more for a single project by including them into the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade’s programs on attracting assets of external gratuitous support and cooperation with donors. It is not very clear yet what this exactly means and the implementation will therefore be revealing, but one possibility is that if a foreign donor gets buy-in from a government agency (for activities within one of the pre-approved programs on attracting assets of external gratuitous support and cooperation with donors), the particular project, if it includes grants to NNOs, might be pre-approved without the need to obtain additional approvals for each individual grant from the MoJ.

The Resolution also makes some structural changes within the Government of Uzbekistan. Relevant changes include abolishment of the Bureau on Coordination to the Commission of the European Union in Uzbekistan under the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan and the establishment of the Department on Coordination of External Gratuitous Support within the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade. The impact of this restructuring is not yet clear, however. Lastly, the Resolution also determines a list of priority projects for external gratuitous support for the period 2019-2020.

Regulation #527

On October 4, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers approved Regulation #527, which establishes a procedure for the registration of foreign grants received by Uzbek NNOs and for the implementation of activities funded under these foreign grants. Regulation #527 marks an improvement over the prior regulations and simplifies the registration procedure for foreign grants. Nonetheless, it still restricts NNOs’ access to sources of funding.

Regulation #527 simplifies the procedure for registering foreign grants by limiting the number of government authorities required to issue their opinion and/or decision in the registration process. Specifically, under Regulation #527, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is not required to notify and solicit an opinion from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before deciding whether to approve a grant. In addition, Regulation #527 reduces the timeline for the decision-making process, providing the MoJ with 15 days to consider an NNO’s application to register a grant. However, the MoJ can add up to ten days for “further examination,” which means the whole process may be 25 days.

NNOs are required to obtain government approval of a foreign grant if the value of a foreign grant exceeds the equivalent of approximately $2,800. Regulation #527 provides that the “requirement regarding the total amount of funds and property received in a single calendar year is generally applied separately for each external source.” Thus, if an NNO receives 10 grants, it does not have to register them provided that each grant is below the $2,800 threshold. However, the meaning of “generally applied” is not fully clear.

Regulation #527 further establishes that a foreign NNO does not need approval from the MoJ to receive funds and property from external sources “when funds and property are allocated to representative offices and branches of international and foreign non-governmental non-profit organizations by their parent organizations to cover administrative expenses.” This new requirement could limit exempt-from-registration funds to cover only “administrative expenses” rather than to fund program activities. As a result, this requirement will negatively impact foreign NNOs operating in Uzbekistan. Moreover, even if funds received from foreign sources fall under one of the exemptions, an NNO recipient is still required to notify the MoJ “of the funds and property …. at least three working days in advance [before receiving the funds].”

Finally, Regulation #527 requires NNOs to have a “state organization” providing them with “organizational and methodological support”. The “state organization” is assigned to each NNO by the MoJ for the purpose of participation in and support of an NNO in the implementation of a foreign grant, if the value of a received grant is above the equivalent of approximately $28,000. An NNO may submit its proposal to the MoJ on which government body may be assigned as its partner “state organization.” The powers provided to the “state organization” appear to be excessively restrictive because the competence of a “state organization” as a partner to an NNO grant recipient include:

  • organizing meetings, negotiations and other events within the framework of the project;
  • involving field experts and specialists in the project;
  • exchanging necessary statistical and analytical data to ensure the effectiveness of the project, except for information constituting a state secret or other secret protected by law, causing harm to the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of individuals and legal entities, the interests of society and the state; and
  • and giving practical suggestions and recommendations aimed at solving the problems encountered during the project implementation.” (Section 23)

Nevertheless, “state organizations” are prohibited from being able to:

  • hinder the activities of a non-governmental non-profit organization as defined in its Charter;
  • give instructions and assignments to a non-governmental non-profit organization, set tasks and demand additional information from it that is not related to the project;
  • make changes and additions to the approved project documents (estimates, plan, etc.); and
  • request financial incentives for participation in the project. (Section 28)

Barriers to Assembly

Article 33 of the Constitution of Republic of Uzbekistan establishes that “All citizens shall have the right to take part in civic activities by way of participating in rallies, meetings and demonstrations in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Government agencies shall only have the right to suspend or ban such events on the grounds of substantiated security considerations.”

On July 29, 2014, the Cabinet of Ministers passed Decree #205 “On measures of Further Improvement of the Procedures for Organizing and Holding Public Events,” which established the rules for holding “mass events” (Addendum #1 to the Cabinet’s Decree #205 of July 29, 2014). A “mass event” is defined as “the presence of citizens, organized at the venue of a public happening for the purpose of holding social and political programs (i.e. symposia, conferences, congresses, etc.); cultural and entertainment programs and performances (music, literature and other festivals, concerts, theatrical, sports and promotional events, folk festivals, circus and folkloric shows, games, displays and competitions, etc.); and also national religious and professional celebrations, with the attendance of 100 people or more.”

Excessive Penalties
Penalties contained in the “The Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Administrative Responsibility” may deter organizers from planning and conducting public assemblies. For example, fines in the amount of 60-80 BCVs and an administrative detention period of up to 15 days may result from violating the established procedure of organizing or carrying out public gatherings, rallies, marches and demonstrations (Article 201). In addition, any provision of premises or other property (means of communications, copiers or other technologies, equipment or vehicles) or facilitating conditions for carrying out [public gatherings, rallies, marches and demonstrations] may result in the imposition of fines in the amount of 50-100 BCVs on regular citizens, and 70-150 minimum times the monthly wages on government officials (Article 202).

Threats of Use of Force
Since 2005, when hundreds of protesters were killed in confrontations with the Uzbek security forces in Andijon, there have been few public protests due to fear of the authorities’ use of force against them, in addition to other restrictions.

UN Universal Periodic Review Reports Uzbekistan (April 24, 2013)
Reports of UN Special Rapporteurs Uzbekistan
USIG (United States International Grantmaking) Country Notes Not available
Human Rights Watch World Report 2022: Uzbekistan
U.S. State Department 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
Fragile States Index Reports 2021 Foreign Policy: Fragile States Index
IMF Country Reports Uzbekistan and the IMF
International Commission of Jurists Not available
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law Online Library Uzbekistan

While we aim to maintain information that is as current as possible, we realize that situations can rapidly change.  If you are aware of any additional information or inaccuracies on this page, please keep us informed; write to ICNL at

General News

New procedure for NGOs to work with international grants: one step forward, two steps back? (August 2023) (Russian)
The Ministry of Justice has proposed a new procedure for coordination and partnership between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government authorities in the implementation of international grant projects. Despite the positive changes, measures limiting the freedom of association and activities of NGOs are still in place.

Civil Society Struggles for Freedom in Central Asia (July 2023)
Efforts to establish robust, independent civil societies are facing headwinds in the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia, where foreign-funded NGOs have long been regarded as agents of Western influence and even purveyors of “color revolutions.” In Uzbekistan, officials boast of “thousands” of functioning NGOs, but they are subject to tight controls and onerous checks. However, the government is reconsidering a year-old decree requiring “significant size-grant receivers” to partner with state institutions.

How Will Civil Society Develop? (May, 2023) (Russian)
Resolution No. 192 “On Measures for the Implementation of the Development of Civil Society Concept Paper in 2023 and 2024” was adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers on May 6, 2023.

The bill on rallies is being considered by the Presidential Administration – Ministry of Justice (March, 2023) (Russian)
The draft law on rallies has been developed and approved, and is now being considered by the Presidential Administration, Mirjalol Allakuliyev, head of the department of the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan, said. The procedure for organizing rallies is still not spelled out in the laws, although there is responsibility for its violation.

The draft strategy “Uzbekistan-2030” has been published for discussion (July 2023) (Russian)
The draft strategy “Uzbekistan 2030” has been published for discussion. The document, aimed at “creating the New Uzbekistan,” encompasses 5 directions and 100 goals. Over 252 billion dollars are allocated for the implementation of the strategy.

President discusses constitutional reform (June 2022) (Russian)
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkata Mirziyoeva met the members of the Constitutional Commission, where he briefly discussed his vision of constitutional reform in Uzbekistan

New article examines NNO code (May 2022) (Russian)
The article called “The Phantom of Constitutional Reforms Haunts the Whole World”, quotes from the speeches of Akmal Saidov, who is the head of the Commission for the constitutional reform, regarding constitutional reform and the need to adopt an NNO code.

Uzbekistan registers a branch of the IREX (April 2021)
On 12 April 2021, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan registered a branch of the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) in the Republic of Uzbekistan, the head office of which is located in the United States. A main goals of the branch is to contribute to building a prosperous and equal society in Uzbekistan, empower the youth of Uzbekistan and educate future leaders, assist in expanding access to quality education and information;

Environmental activism begins to make its mark in Central Asia (March 2021)
Since the death of long-time dictator Islam Karimov in 2017, the Shavkat Mirziyoyev government in Uzbekistan has been keen on opening the country up, and following in the footsteps of Kazakhstan in establishing an image of a state that is autocratic, but at the same time outward-looking and cosmopolitan. Environmental reforms can be a particularly powerful tool for autocratic regimes looking to improve their international standing. Civil society is also finding its voice, raising awareness about the region’s many environmental issues.

Uzbekistan: Public or State Chamber (April 2020)
It is known that Shavkat Mirziyoyev in his address to the Oliy Majlis at the beginning of this year, had put forward a number of proposals for the development of civil society. In particular, in order to strengthen public control and establish closer interaction between the state and society, he proposed creating the Public Chamber of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Based on this, on April 16, 2020, a Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the establishment of a Public Chamber under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” was issued. The decree defines the main activities of the Public Chamber, as the establishment of a modern form of systemic and effective dialogue, combining the efforts of the state, citizens and civil society institutions aimed at further accelerated and comprehensive development of the country. As well as ensuring the coherence of their social interests, assistance in enhancing the participation of citizens in the affairs of the state and society, as well as in introducing modern mechanisms of public-private partnership.

Uzbekistan Adopts Strict Regulations to Fight COVID-19 (April 2020)
Uzbekistan is among a number of countries to adopt early strict measures to prevent the sharp spread of the virus. On March 27, the movement of people and personal vehicles was restricted to grocery shopping and pharmacy visits. In the first nine days since the rules were introduced, as of April 3, about 2,200 violations of the rules were registered, mostly individuals being outside without face masks. To respond to social media criticisms, and to those who do not welcome the increased police measures, the Ministry of Interior said that patrolling officers have the right to ask the purpose of one’s being in the streets.

Uzbek Lawmakers Legitimize Activities of Volunteers (November 2019)
Deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) of Uzbekistan on November 6, 2019 adopted the Draft Law on Volunteering in three readings. According to the press service of the Lower House of Parliament, the document was submitted to the Senate.

Tashkent hosts the National Forum of Civil Initiatives (July 2019)
Civil Initiatives Forum’s event, “National priorities and prospects for engaging civil society institutions in government and public administration”, was held in Tashkent with representatives of ministries and departments, international organizations, NGOs and civil society institutions. The event was organized to discuss the most pressing issues facing the development of civil society, prepare joint proposals for their resolution, and develop new initiatives aimed at increasing the capacity of non-governmental organizations in state-led reforms to involve civil society institutions in government and public administration.

Burkhanov appointed chairman of “Yuksalish” National Movement (January 2019)
The former director of the “Development Strategy” center Akmal Burkhanov was appointed chairman of “Yuksalish” National Movement. The new movement will be engaged in a voluntary association of citizens, compatriots living abroad, non-governmental non-profit organizations to assist in the implementation of the planned reforms.

Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan and USAID signed a Memorandum of Understanding (June 2018)
On June 8 this year, a ceremony of signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the US Agency for International Development USAID in the field of supporting the strengthening of the rule of law in Uzbekistan.

Law on public control enters into force in Uzbekistan (March 2018)
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the Law “On public control” on April 12, 2018. The law was passed by the Legislative Chamber on November 15 and approved by the Senate on March 29, 2018. The act aims at regulating relations in the field of organization and implementation of public control over the activities of state bodies and institutions.

Concept of tax reform for 2018-2020 published for public discussion (March 2018)
The National Project Management Agency under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan prepared a draft concept on radical reform of the tax system. The document envisages reducing the tax burden, the VAT rate, unification and cancellation of a number of taxes and mandatory payments, as well as measures to improve tax administration.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev orders drafting of new tax code (February 2018)
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on February 13 signed an Organizational Measures to Radically Improve Tax Legislation Decree. The document notes that “the state of affairs in terms of finding additional reserves for increasing the incomes of the central and local budgets, introduction of modern ICTs in the process of tax administration, implementation of the best proven methods of tax legislation and administration” remains unsatisfactory in Uzbekistan.

News Archive

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in historic Uzbekistan visit (May 2017)

Uzbekistan adopts law on social services for population (December 2016)

Uzbekistan elects Shavkat Mirziyoyev as president (December 2016)

Ministry of Justice receives right to check CSOs’ bank accounts (April 2016) (Russian)

Government significantly decreases sizes of administrative penalties for CSOs (April 2016) (Russian)

Law of Uzbekistan on Appeals of Individuals and Legal Entities discussed (February 2015)

Uzbekistan Gears Up to Vote for “Rubberstamp” Parliament (December 2014)

HRW Documents Plight Of Political Prisoners (October 2014)

Situation Dire for NGOs in Uzbekistan (August 2013)

Free political prisoners on Constitution Day (December 2012)

EU representative visits Uzbekistan (December 2012)

CIVICUS intervention in the UPR for Uzbekistan (October 2012)

Uzbekistan “not free” according to internet freedom report  (October 2012)

Uzbek rights activist Muhitdinov dies (August 2012)

Watchdog urges EU action over human rights (June 2012)

Uzbekistan: allow independent experts access to prevent persecution, say CIVICUS and Expert Working Group (June 2012)

Activist free but crackdown widening (April 2012)

Uzbekistan touts own civil society model in round table meeting in Tashkent (March 2012)

HRW report highlights concerns that the plight of civil society activists in Uzbekistan is worsening(January 2012)

Release of Mr. Norboy Kholjigitov, ongoing arbitrary detention of eight other HRSU members (October 2011)

AIDS activist released, but other human rights defenders harassed (September 2011)

Internet censorship in Uzbekistan (August 2011)

Employee of British Embassy in Tashkent loses appeal against fine (August 2011)

British Embassy staffer fined by court for contact with activists (July 2011)

Tashkent journalist lost her job because of the trip abroad (July 2011)

Uzbekistan Supreme Court approves closure of Human Rights Watch office (June 2011)

Activists harassed after TV broadcast (April 2011)

Uzbekistan can’t muzzle the messenger (April 2011)

Links between journalists and foreign embassies placed under control (March 2011)

Government shuts down Human Rights Watch office (March 2011)

Uzbek human rights group facing criminal libel suit (March 2011)

No journalist is immune from slander, defamation charges (February 2011)

The foregoing information was collected by the ICNL Civic Freedom Monitor partner in Uzbekistan.