Dushanbe, 25 October 2021 Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan and UNDP held a conference on development of legal aid system in the country today to mark to the fifth anniversary of establishing the State Agency "Legal Aid Center" to provide free legal services to vulnerable population across the country.

Nearly 100 representatives of government institutions, public and international organizations, bar associations and media participated at the event.

“Access to justice is one of the fundamental human rights guaranteed by both international treaties and the national legislation, without which protection of all other human rights and freedoms in modern society is impossible. One of the most essential aspects of access to justice is the right to receive qualified legal assistance, which is guaranteed to all persons who cannot afford to pay for such services”, - said Mr. Muzaffar Ashuriyon, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan.

UNDP Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, with funding from the Swiss Government and the Foreign Ministry of Finland, support the Government of Tajikistan in its efforts to provide free legal aid to the population.

“Legal aid is a right of all people and therefore all districts have to be covered with effectively running legal aid centers with professional legal aid professionals but at the same time system should be efficient avoiding duplication perhaps by clustering the districts for service provision as well as reviewing innovative options such as mobile primary legal aid services and online legal aid services for maximum coverage”, - said Ms. Pratibha Mehta, the Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme in Tajikistan.

Currently 34 cities and districts of Tajikistan are covered by primary free legal aid services, while secondary legal aid has been rolled out in two regions - Sughd and Khatlon. More than 87 thousand people have already benefitted from the services in the period between 2016 and 2021.

Sidenote: As per the the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan dated July 2, 2015, No. 425, the Concept of Free Legal Aid was approved to create the basis for further development and improvement of the state system of accessible and qualified free legal aid to the population.

On 28 November, 2015 another Decree was adopted to establish the State Agency "Legal Aid Center" under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan as implementation mechanism for access to justice.

On July 4, 2020, the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On Legal Aid" was adopted to give residents of the country the right to free primary and secondary legal aid.

 

For additional information, please contact Rukhshona Nazhmidinova, UNDP Communication Analyst (tel .: +992 (44) 6005600, e-mail: rukhshona.nazhmidinova@undp.org) or Basir Nosirov, Deputy Director of the State Agency “Legal Aid Center” (tel .: 933555995, 903335309, e-mail: basir.nosirov@salac.tj).

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