TEHRAN (Iran News) – “International Recognition of the Youth Policy of New Uzbekistan”. There are more than two billion young people in the world. This is a record figure for the number of young people in the entire history of mankind. It is worth noting that close to 90% of all youth live in the developing world.
Youth are inexhaustible source of innovation, novatorship, ideas, and solutions. As such, we should include the young people in decision making process more than ever, so they can become the engine for change who will have an opportunity and responsibility to discover their own potential and create a world suitable for future generations.
The international community recognizes that the crucial role in the progress of any society is played by a healthy and harmoniously developed young generation, an energetic, proactive, well-rounded youth with modern knowledge and skills, on which the future of this society depends.
Uzbekistan is standing at the threshold of vital demographic milestone where young people under the age of 30 constitute two thirds of the country’s population. This is a kind of precious “demographic dividend” for the country. Over the next two decades, today’s children and young people will become the largest labor force in the history of Uzbekistan. With the right investments in the development of young people today, they can become the generation that will lead Uzbekistan to a new level of socio-economic development.
Contemporary world requires proactive and creative young people to take charge of sustainable development and drive it forward. As for Uzbekistan, young people in this country have become main catalyst of change in the communities and vital spring of ideas for modernizing society. Moreover, they are rightly seen as priceless human resource for sustained economic progress and guarantee for welfare of upcoming generations.
The country has taken upon itself to prioritize guaranteeing legitimate rights and interests of young people as part of national strategy for development. The youth agenda has always been the focus of government and the last couple of years this agenda has been advanced by adoption of three laws, dozens of decrees, presidential resolutions and government decisions related to the sphere.
Government has been leading by example in this matter. For one, Prime Minister has been chairing the Agency for Youth Affairs and interdepartmental councils on youth issues, now Legislative Chamber of the Parliament includes a Commission on Youth issues, and Youth Parliaments have started operating under the chambers of the Parliament.
In addition, on August 25, 2017, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the law “On the establishment of the Day of Youth of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.
On this day, across the country, a group of the young men from all regions of the country are awarded the “Mard O’glon” State prize for special achievements in the field of science, education, medicine, culture, literature, art, sports, production, military service and the activities of law enforcement agencies.
A special medal “Kelajak Bunyodkori” (creator of the future) has also been established for young people in the country.
The National Strategy for Human Rights and the State Program for the implementation of the Strategy of Action on the five priority areas of Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021 in the “Year of Supporting Youth and Protecting the Health of the Population” are being implemented. A number of important tasks are also being implemented within the framework of five important initiatives.
Youth policy of Uzbekistan is set in stone with the Concept of the development until 2025 and the concept has been complimented with a “Roadmap” for its implementation. Priorities in the Concept and the Roadmap include creating necessary conditions for education of physically healthy and spiritually developed young people, and assisting them in their endeavors to realize their scientific and creative potential, protecting their rights, freedoms and interests, along with involving them in the democratic, social, legal and economic reforms being carried out in the country. Unified criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of work with young people and the national youth policy evaluation index are being developed.
At the same time questions related to employment of young men and women and guarantee of decent income for them to build a future in Uzbekistan have been receiving special attention.
President of Uzbekistan Sh.M.Mirziyoyev believes that “entrepreneurship, especially small and medium-sized businesses, is the greatest opportunity and resource in this direction”. To tackle this issue, the administrative units throughout the country have initiated a practice of developing and implementing relevant records called “youth notebooks”.
It should be noted that in April 2021 the Head of Uzbekistan put forward a number of new initiatives that significantly expand measures to support youth entrepreneurship and introduce new employment mechanisms. A number of benefits have been announced for both the unemployed and start-up entrepreneurs, as well as for employers’ organizations. In particular, starting with:
- 1st of May, 2021 – entities hiring young people will get funds paid for social tax back. In addition, entrepreneurs who have employed more than 5 unemployed people from the “youth notebook” will receive a discount of up to 50% when renting state property, young people who rent a building and open their own business will be reimbursed up to 30% of the annual amount of rent payments, etc.;
- 1st of June, 2021 – students included in the “youth notebook” will be allocated 500 thousand soums for internships in the companies of their choice. A part of the expenses of the members of the “youth notebook” for the study of foreign languages and general education subjects in non-state educational institutions will also be compensated;
- 1st of July, 2021 – private business will receive up to 1 million soums to cover their expenditures for training and retraining new young hires.
Students and graduates of vocational training centers will achieve a great support in form of tax exemption throughout the first six months of employment and having their payments to vocational training centers qualified as tax-deductible.
In terms of training unemployed youth in professions and entrepreneurship, the “1+1” Program is widely implemented, providing for the training of 100 thousand young people with further provision of preferential loans. In just three months of 2021, more than 21,000 young people across the country were trained in entrepreneurship.
Another important area that contributes to youth employment is agriculture. Today, 175 thousand young people have been allocated 45 thousand hectares of land. They received land plots for agriculture. Young people who find themselves in the records of “youth notebook” will be allocated up to 2 million soums to start agricultural ventures.
In addition, the initiatives of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to further promote and protect the rights of youth receive broad international support.
Therefore, the initiative put forward by Uzbekistan at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly to adopt the Convention on the Rights of Youth is of great importance not only for the citizens of our country, but also for the protection of the rights of more than two billion young people around the world. This initiative is gaining more and more support among the international community. A Group of Friends on Youth Rights has been established, whose main task is to support youth policy initiatives and encourage efforts to develop an international legal instrument on youth rights.
Issues related to protecting youth rights and advancing global cooperation for improvement of lives of the young were discussed during the Samarkand Web Forum in August, 2020.
The Forum discussed the draft Convention on the Rights of Youth prepared by Uzbekistan, adopted the Samarkand resolution “Youth 2020: global solidarity, sustainable development and human rights”, which is presented as an official document of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, posted in the UN system of official documents under the number A/74/998. At the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Samarkand resolution was distributed as an official document of the OSCE. The official letter of the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was sent to all the OIC Member States and published on the official website of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The commitment to the protection of the rights of young people was also confirmed in the speech of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, where initiatives were put forward to protect the rights of youth:
– the adoption of the International Convention on the Rights of Youth and the establishment of the UN Special Rapporteur on Youth Rights and;
– holding a World Conference on Youth Rights under the auspices of the United Nations. This conference is planned to be organized in August this year by the Government of Uzbekistan with the support of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and in partnership with other international and youth organizations. It will provide an opportunity to exchange views and develop proposals for improving existing international and regional instruments and mechanisms for the protection and promotion of the rights of youth.
Currently cooperation between Uzbek youth, state bodies, and public associations has reached a qualitatively new level due to wide-ranging work done in the field of youth policy. It can be said with confidence that all key sectors of the country are benefiting from the involvement of young people in variety of positions starting from manual workers and ranging to high positions in ministries and departments.
Training and comprehensive development of young people has gained a big momentum with establishment of separate organizations for working with young people. All these efforts will undoubtedly be justified in the coming future, because Uzbekistan is a country of young people!