There is a serious legislative base of programs, laws and regulations to eliminate both domestic violence and discrimination against women in Tajikistan, but its realization in practice is very difficult.
We decided to figure out how Tajik legislation is effective in real life. We decided to discuss the effectiveness of the legislative framework with Larisa Aleksandrova, a lawyer and an independent gender expert.
L. Aleksandrova participated in preparation of alternative reports of Tajik public associations for the UN Commission on the implementation of the Convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in our country.
She says that from 2014 to 2017, Tajikistan had a National Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee on elimination of discrimination against women. According to the final report of the government, this plan was successfully implemented, although it is not possible to give it a real assessment, since the implementation of this plan wasn't carried out.
According to L. Aleksandrova, the plan has weak indicators and is not focused on results. All indicators are quantitative and mainly describe the state’s activity (the number of conferences, round tables, courses and meetings held), but it doesn't indicate what specific results this Plan should have achieved at the end.
The result could be showed by numbers, but the figures, unfortunately, show the opposite.
According to the censuses in 2000 and 2010 girls education has doubled worsened: for example: the share of girls among students in educational institutions of primary vocational education from 2000 to 2016 decreased from 34.4% to 17.6%.
Gender-based violence is increasing, victims are not receiving appropriate assistance, women's employment has halved.
L. Aleksandrova thinks that one of the important documents in Tajikistan is the Law "On self-government bodies of settlements and villages." It plays a very important role for the village, but not all citizens understand this. Rural self-government bodies, jamoats, solve everyday issues of the village population.
If there are more women in the jamoats, then women's problems will be raised and, accordingly, women will try to solve them. For this, it is necessary to actively involve women in the village in the very process of electing jamoats and its bodies as deputies.
In addition, on birth, death, marriage or divorce certificates issuance, the chairman of the jamoat can consult on men and women rights on marriage, on the rights and obligations of parents and children.
According to L. Aleksandrova other successful law is the Law “On appeals from individuals and legal entities”. It allows you to protect the citizens rights, including women, from discrimination. This is a procedural law that describes in detail how to apply to state authorities, or to institutions and organizations on various issues.
If the question is about rights violations and discrimination is already rights violation , then your appeal will be called a complaint. Complaint - an expression of dissatisfaction with respect to a separate action (inaction) of officials, heads and authorized employees of relevant bodies and organizations on the protection and restoration of their rights and freedoms or violated legitimate interests or violated rights, freedoms or legitimate interests of others (Article 1 of the Law) .
This law establishes the procedure for submitting appeals, in what time period the responsible state body should answer you.
If the state body didn't answer you and didn't solve your question?
This Law doesn't establish any liability. But according to the art.87 of the Code of Administrative Offenses it is indicated that violation by an official of the order and terms of citizens' appeals, violation of the terms of their consideration without valid reasons, adoption of an unreasonable decision contrary to law, as well as failure to restore the violated rights of citizens in the absence of signs of a crime - shall be sanctioned by a fine of thirty to forty indicators for calculations.
If your complaint hasn't been considered, you should contact the higher authority, the court or the prosecution authorities as an authority to oversee the implementation of the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Rights equality of men and women in marriage is established by the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan (FC RT). It regulates the rights in all family legal relationships, voluntary marriage and the priority of family education of children, care for their well-being and development, ensuring priority protection of the rights and interests of minors and disabled family members.
It is very important to know that the property interests of women in the Republic of Tajikistan can be protected only through the official registration of marriage, as part 1 of art. 3 FC RT indicates that marriage is recognized only as the union that was concluded ONLY in state bodies of civil registration. Religious marriage hasn’t legal effect.
But this doesn't apply to children born of such unofficial marriages. The FC of the RT and the Law of the RT “On State Registration of Marriage” indicate that women can establish paternity for the child through the court and recover alimony for child support if the father doesn’t voluntarily acknowledge paternity and refuses to support it.
We should also to mention the difference in property rights in official and unofficial marriages:
- the property acquired by one of the spouses, after the conclusion of an official marriage and during the life together in the marriage (house, equipment, car and other property) in case of a divorce is divided equally between the spouse. Or the spouse cannot sell or donate this property without the consent of the spouse.
- in a religious union, a woman under the laws of the Republic of Tajikistan cannot claim property earned by her domestic partner and vice versa.
- after the death of the spouse, upon inheritance by law, his official wife becomes the heiress of the first priority together with the children of the husband. Even if these children are not from her, but from another woman, but recognized as a spouse during her lifetime, or there is a court decision on the establishment of paternity for children and their parent (Article 1166 of the SCRT). If the husband didn't leave a will, then his official wife first determines her share in the joint property of the spouses, allocates it (Article 1140 of the Civil Code of the RT), and then she has the right to receive another part of the equal share along with the children and parents of the deceased husband.
For example, if after husband death there was an apartment and a car purchased during marriage, the cost of the car and apartment is summed up and divided in half. And this half belongs to the spouse. And the second half is again divided into equal shares between her (the spouse), the children and the parents of the spouse.
- The wife in the ritual “nikoh” has no inheritance rights after the death of her actual spouse. An exception is a notarized will in her name (Article 1150 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan).
- Paternity of a spouse is automatically recognized through the official registration of marriage. That is, if your spouse is in migration, and at this time you have given birth to a child, then your husband will automatically be recognized as his father upon receipt of a birth certificate. For this, the presence of her husband in the registry office is not necessary.
- If you are the parents of a child in an unofficial marriage, then for the state this is not an unambiguous fact for the recognition by the father of the child of your husband in the ritual “nikokh”. This requires recognition of paternity. If your unofficial husband is in migration, you cannot establish the fact of paternity without his personal presence
The Code of Criminal Procedure (CPC RT) doesn’t provide for the mandatory provision of a lawyer at the state expense and this is one of the reasons why most victims cannot protect themselves. There is no free social and psychological assistance, etc.
Considering the Law "On the Prevention of Domestic Violence", L. Aleksandrova notes that the Law has no implementation mechanisms. If there are rules on administrative punishment, then it doesn't change anything.
The damage that should be compensated to victims of domestic violence is not compensated at practice.
For example after husband death there was an apartment and a car purchased during marriage, the cost of the car and apartment is summed up and divided in half. And this half belongs to the spouse. And the second half is again divided into equal shares between her (the spouse), the children and the parents of the spouse.
- The wife in the ritual “Nikokh” has no inheritance rights after the death of her actual spouse. An exception is a notarized will in her name (Article 1150 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan).- Paternity of a spouse is automatically recognized through the official registration of marriage. That is, if your spouse is in migration, and at this time you have given birth to a child, then your husband will automatically be recognized as his father upon receipt of a birth certificate. For this, the presence of her husband in the registry office is not necessary.
- If you are the parents of a child in an unofficial marriage, then for authority its not definitive fact for the recognition of your husband by “nikoh” the child's father. This requires recognition of paternity. If your unofficial husband is in migration, you cannot establish the fact of paternity without his personal presence.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (CPC RT) doesn't provide mandatory provision of a lawyer at the state expense, and this is one of the reasons why most victims cannot protect themselves. There is no free of charge social and psychological assistance, etc.
If we will turn to (exemption of a person from criminal liability due to settlement with the injured party), the person if he come to terms with injured person and compensated the caused damage.
According to Article 73 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan, a person who has committed a crime of small or medium gravity may be exempt from responsibility if, on the basis of Art. 30 CPC RT, two conditions will be complete:
1. The parties will come to settlement.
2. The damage for injured party will be compensated.
And only with the joint occurrence of these two conditions, an exemption from liability is possible. In practice, as a rule, victims of domestic violence are not explained their own rights and the right to file a civil lawsuit in criminal proceedings. Free legal assistance for vulnerable group of the population is provided by the State Institution “Legal Aid Center” (SI LAC). Apart from Dushanbe, the center has offices in the regions of the country, all of which provide primary legal assistance.
This means that anyone who applies can get legal verbal advice on all issues, or the center’s lawyers will help to draw up an appeal to government bodies (for example, a complaint).
But the center’s lawyers will not go to court or police with you. This is not their responsibility. Such actions are secondary legal assistance which is assigned to lawyers.