Dushanbe, 19 March 2019 - Upon release from penitentiary institutions, ex-prisoners have mixed feeling. On one hand, they feel mobility and freedom, on another hand, they are frustrated by obscurity. They are left to misunderstanding of environment, to difficulties with re-establishing their personal life, to searching a job, they do require assistance and support in further social re-integration.
The Project “Human Rights Protection for Prisoners and Ex-prisoners in Tajikistan” was aimed at contributing to protection of human rights of one of the most disadvantaged groups of the population – prisoners and ex-prisoners, with specific focus on realisation of their social, economic and cultural rights in Tajikistan.
For two years the project activities covered over 500 prisoners with educational activities at the penal institutions #3/8 in Nurek town and #3/6 in Yavan town, as well as over 1100 ex-prisoners frustrated by the realities of the social and economic life after release in 10 cities and district centers of Tajikistan, including Dushanbe, Khorugh, Khujand, Bokhtar, Vahdat, B.Gafurov, Vose, Panjakent, Devashtich, and Jaihun. The project also institutionalized the social reintegration consultation mechanisms between civil society and national or local public institutions through development and dissemination of a roadmap on social reintegration of ex-prisoners, capacity building and strengthening information sharing and referral mechanisms between penal institutions, CSOs, legal aid centres network, adult training and employment centres.
In collaboration with the Main Department on Criminal Penalty Execution of the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan the Project has developed three new training modules on capacity building of penitentiary staff and institutionalized them at the In-service Training of the Law-Enforcement Bodies under the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan. The project also implemented the progress tracking monitoring, which served as an instrument to assess the progress made on dissemination of referral mechanism, capacity building of police officers, legal consultations and social worker services to ex-prisoners.
The final event focused on project achievements, lessons learned and recommendations for further policy dialogue on human rights promotion for this vulnerable group. Around fifty invited stakeholders, represented by state and non-state structures, international organizations involved in penitentiary sector reforming, and media were exposed to the successful work completed with the prisoners and ex-prisoners. Joint cooperation of state and non-state actors was successful to increase awareness on prisoners and ex-prisoners’ human rights through public awareness activities, civic education programmes and consultations, promoting positive atmosphere among prisoners, positive attitude and behavior by the prison staff.
The activity was held within the project “Human Rights Protection for Prisoners and Ex-prisoners in Tajikistan” funded by the European Union (75%) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (25%). It was implemented by DVV International together with Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law and NGO Jahon. The Project contributed to the development and consolidation of the democracy and the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in Tajikistan by expanding access to and availability of education services for the prisoners and ex-prisoners of both genders.