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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Turkmenistan is very short and does not include information on child labour and refugee/migrant children. In the near future, Turkmenistan will need to work on making it easier for children, especially girls, to express their opinions. Improvements are also necessary in the area of juvenile justice.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned at the State party’s limited efforts to tackle discrimination against girls and to modify or eliminate stereotypes and negative traditional values and practices. The Committee therefore recommends to undertake comprehensive public education and awareness-raising campaigns, in particular in rural areas, to prevent and combat negative societal attitudes, including discrimination, based on, inter alia, sex, gender, nationality, ethnicity or religion.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party adopt legislative and administrative measures to prevent and eliminate disparities in the enjoyment by children of their rights, as well as discriminatory attitudes against certain groups of children, in particular girls and children belonging to national minorities. Turkmenistan should also guarantee the right to education in their mother tongue for children belonging to national minorities and abolish restrictions in that regard.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee notes as positive the efforts of the State party to provide children with disabilities with inclusive education, inter alia, through the creation of a network of “child-friendly schools”. However, the Committee is concerned that information is lacking with regard to the community-based rehabilitation programmes and home-based care for children with disabilities. Also, children with disabilities reaching the age of 16 are treated as adults for the purpose of disability allowances or other forms of support. Professionals such as psychologists and social workers are not adequately trained to support the needs of children with disabilities.
Therefore, the Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability and to develop community-based rehabilitation programmes and home-based care, with a view to reducing the institutionalization of children with disabilities. It also urges Turkmenistan to accelerate its efforts towards the inclusive education of children with disabilities and extend the network of “child-friendly schools” and ensure that the staff are sufficiently and appropriately trained. Turkmenistan should also make the child disability allowances payable up to the age of 18 and ensure that adequate human, technical and financial resources are allocated to alternative care centres and relevant child-protection services.

Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesWhile welcoming the entry into force on 4 January 2013 of the Mass Media Act, which prohibits censorship and guarantees the right to access information and international mass media, and also welcoming the sharp increase in the numbers of Internet users, the Committee remains concerned about the possible effects of the reported strict monitoring by the State of the use of the Internet on children’s right to access appropriate information, the limited availability of international media and the lack of independence of the national media.The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to expand and to guarantee children’s access to appropriate information, including through free access to the Internet and to international media, while ensuring the independence of the national media.
physical health

The Committee is concerned at reports of the insufficient number of family doctors, nurses and midwifes, in particular in rural areas, the lack of medicines and the acute need to improve the knowledge and skills of medical personnel.
To guarantee every child the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure a sufficient number of family doctors, nurses and midwives, and increase the availability of medicines, especially in rural areas, as well as take measures to ensure that all personnel responsible for the health care of children are well qualified and well trained.

Relation to other countries
mental health

While noting that the suicide rate among adolescents has decreased, the Committee remains concerned about the persistence of this phenomenon in the State party. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to prevent suicide among children and youth, including by increasing psychological consultation services and special psychosocial support programmes, and by addressing the root causes of the phenomenon. Moreover, the State party should collect disaggregated data on the occurrence of suicide.

Impacts of climate change

While welcoming information on the 12 per cent decrease in child morbidity in the Dashoguz region, the Committee remains concerned at the damaging effects of the Aral Sea crisis on children living in nearby areas and the reports of high rates of infant and maternal mortality, as well as high rates of deaths due to cancer, which are attributed to environmental pollution, especially in the Dashoguz region.
The Committee urges the State party to promptly assess the health situation of children living in the Aral Sea area, particularly in the Dashoguz region, with a view to ensuring the prompt provision of the necessary health services to all children, with an emphasis on the development of primary health care. The Committee also urges the State party to continue addressing the issue of infant and maternal mortality and the rates of death due to cancer in the Aral Sea area.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to expeditiously establish specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures, with adequate human, technical and financial resources, designate specialized judges for children and ensure that such judges receive appropriate education and training. It should also ensure the provision of qualified and independent legal aid to children in conflict with the law at an early stage and throughout the legal proceedings. Further, the Committee urges Turkmenistan to promote alternative measures to detention, such as diversion, probation, mediation, counselling or community service, whenever possible, and ensure that detention is used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time and that it is reviewed on a regular basis with a view to ending it. It should also ensure that, in cases where detention is unavoidable, the children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned that certain gaps remain that may lead to the statelessness of children born in the State party.
The Committee recommends that the State party review its citizenship legislation and procedures to ensure their full compliance with international standards aimed at the prevention and reduction of statelessness and ensure that all children born in its territory acquire Turkmen nationality, if otherwise they would be stateless, irrespective of the legal status of their parents.

The Committee expresses concern at reports that the State party systematically limits the right of the child to freedom of expression and that prevailing traditional societal attitudes in the family and in other settings regarding the role of children make it difficult for children to seek and impart information freely and to express their views on public matters openly.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second to fourth periodic reports released on 10 march 2015.More information about education in Turkmenistan: https://www.unicef.org

Last Updated (date)2nd of March, 2022