Criminalization of domestic violence in New Uzbekistan: implementation of international obligations


Nasimbek Azizov,

the head of the department of the Law Enforcement Academy of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Diyorbek Ibragimov,

senior teacher  of the Law Enforcement Academy  of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Odiljon Nematillaev,

teacher of the Law Enforcement Academy  of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Traditionally family and its relationships have been considered as a national value in Uzbekistan. In this regard, issues of equality, mutual trust and inviolability in family relationships are under the legal protection of the state. Thanks to the comprehensive reforms carried out in recent years, a strong legal framework has been created in the Republic of Uzbekistan on ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men in all spheres of public life and activity, protecting women from oppression and violence.

At the meeting with members of the Constitutional Commission on June 20, 2022, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev pointed out that it is necessary to reflect in the primary law of the country the responsibilities of the state to provide the population with housing, strengthen the economic and spiritual foundations of the family, creation of all conditions for ensuring the interests and full development of children, support persons with disabilities, protection of human health and the environment. Thus, the text of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan was incorporated in accordance with international legal acts in the field of human rights and freedoms, establishing a ban on any form of violence against humans.

It should be noted that on the basis of this and other reforms of state legal significance, the prohibition of violence of all forms is reflected in the updated and new version of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, adopted on the basis of referendum on April 30 and came into force on May 1 of this year. Consequently, the article 26 established at the constitutional level that the honor and dignity of a person are inviolable and nothing can be a basis for their derogation. In addition, it is established that no one can be subjected to torture, violence, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

In addition, the equality of men and women in rights was established in the highest legal document of the country. Subsequently, the state, as a form of reflection of the democratic desire of the people at the constitutional level, took upon itself the responsibility to ensure equality of rights and opportunities for women and men in managing the affairs of society and the state, as well as in other spheres of public and state life. Another very important norm in the field of preventing violence and guaranteeing the safety of such a social institution as the family is the article 76 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which establishes that the family is the main unit of society and is under the protection of society and the state, and the state creates social, economic, legal and other conditions for the full development of the family.

At a speech at the solemn ceremony dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan on August 31, 2023, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized that this year we adopted a law on the prevention of domestic violence, which main goal is to strengthen families and protect women’s rights, we will consistently continue to work in this direction. In the light of the bright background of large-scale reforms being carried out in the Republic of Uzbekistan and in order to achieve the newly set goals for the protection of human rights, the legislation underwent the appropriate and necessary changes and on April 11, 2023, administrative and criminal liability for family (domestic) violence was introduced.

In turn, these changes established that for the initial commission of family (domestic) violence there will be administrative liability under article 592 – Family (domestic) violence of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on administrative liability, and for its repeated commission within a year or under special circumstances entails criminal liability on the basis of article 1261 – Family (domestic) violence of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

It must be emphasized that for the first time the concept of family (domestic) violence was clarified at the legislative level. According to the changes made to the legislation, from now on, family (domestic) violence should be understood as obstruction in the exercise of the right to property, education, health care and (or) work, intentional damage to property and personal belongings, as well as humiliation of honor and dignity, intimidation, isolation from close relatives committed against a spouse, former spouse, a person living together on the basis of a single household, or a person who has a common child, resulting in a health disorder, in the absence of signs of a crime, as well as other offenses.

Also of interest is the establishment of a two-level responsibility for family (domestic) violence, starting with administrative and ending with criminal, which fully serves the indispensable prevention of this act before it is commission. In accordance with the latest changes, article 592 – Family violence of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Administrative Liability consists of two parts, and the article 1261 –Family (Domestic) Violence of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan includes as many as eight parts.

Noting the epoch-making experience of foreign countries, it is worth pointing out that similar norms of criminal liability for domestic violence are established in the legislation of such foreign countries as Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It is important to note that the effectiveness of reforms to criminalize domestic violence was also recognized by the international community.

As a qualitative reflection of the work in the legislative field on the prevention of domestic violence in recent years, more than 10 regulatory legal acts of strategic importance have been adopted in the field, including the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Guarantees of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men”, the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “ On the protection of women from oppression and violence”, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On additional measures for the rehabilitation of women victims of violence”, Resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures to improve the system for protecting women from oppression and violence” and “On additional measures to improve matters of suicide prevention, as well as rehabilitation and adaptation of women victims of violence”.

Among the positive innovations of the legislation, such concepts as “family (domestic) violence”, “harassment”, “persecution”, “protection order”, “physical violence”, “psychological violence” were introduced for the first time. With the new reforms of the legislation the maximum period for issuing a protection order issued to victims of harassment and violence was also extended from 1 month to 1 year, which previously was only 1 month with the possibility of extension to 2 months.

Also, at the legislative level, the concept of a protection order is disclosed – a document that provides state protection to a victim of oppression and violence, entailing the application of legal measures to a person or group of persons who oppress women or commit violence against them. A special law establishes that a protection order is issued within 24 hours from the moment of establishment of the fact of harassment and violence or the threat of their commission by an official of the internal affairs body, initially for a period of up to thirty days and comes into force from the moment of registration. Moreover, if the victim files an application and the threat of violence is not eliminated, the validity of the protective order is extended by the criminal court for no more than one year.

One of the significant indicators of work in this area was the adoption of the Resolution of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated May 28, 2021 “On approval of the strategy for achieving gender equality in the Republic of Uzbekistan until 2030”, which approved the action plan for the implementation of the strategy in 2023.

Today the Republic of Uzbekistan is taking the necessary measures in the field of preventing domestic (family) violence through its criminalization and the consistent adoption of special laws in this area. In this regard, it is important to further analyze the mechanisms of the effectiveness of already adopted regulatory legal acts, their phased and evolutionary implementation and, as necessary, addition, taking into account their social orientation and ensuring the rule of law when the state performs its reform function.


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept